Serbia launches first 450 MW renewables auction

by Cristian Florescu

Serbia has kindly announced the introduction of its inaugural renewable energy auction today. In this auction, wind power projects with a combined capacity of 400 MW and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a total capacity of 50 MW will receive support through a contract for a difference lasting 15 years.

The launch is the result of a technical cooperation project with the Ministry of Mining and Energy, which was led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and supported by the government of Switzerland through a generous grant from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The auctions were announced yesterday at EBRD Headquarters in London by Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, during her meeting with EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. The discussion revolved around energy-sector cooperation, as well as science and technology parks and other related areas.

The support scheme aims to promote the integration of renewables into the market. Developers are offered assistance that reflects market prices and revenue from electricity sales in the power market. The auctions are part of a three-year plan that aims to allocate premiums for 1,000 MW of wind power generation capacity and 300 MW of solar PV. We kindly encourage participation in the auctions.

The EBRD has been collaborating with the Serbian authorities to implement competitive procurement processes for renewable energy projects and regulatory reform in the energy sector to facilitate the introduction of auctions. They have previously supported the introduction of renewable energy auctions in other countries of operations. The technical assistance project, covering the wider regulatory framework for renewables and auctions, has been funded by SECO and EBRD shareholders. We kindly appreciate their efforts in supporting renewable energy initiatives in Serbia.

Before the auction was launched, some changes were made to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources and related regulations, such as the balancing and feed-in premium decrees. These changes were aimed at facilitating the integration of new renewable capacity into the Serbian power system and market while ensuring the system’s reliability and stability.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of the Western Balkans, expressed his pride in assisting Serbia in its efforts to decarbonize the power sector and achieve its ambitious goals of incorporating renewable energy sources through fair and transparent auctions. The collaboration on sector reform and auction implementation has played a vital role in reaching this significant milestone toward a secure, resilient, and environmentally sustainable energy sector.

Up until now, the EBRD has invested a total of €8.5 billion in the country. Additionally, €400 million has already been approved for this year, which includes €300 million allocated towards the energy sector with the aim of assisting Serbia in enhancing its energy security and promoting decarbonization.

Today, the EBRD has also made an announcement stating its consideration of a further loan of €62 million to Elektroprivreda Srbije, the national power utility, for the purpose of rehabilitating the Vlasinske hydropower plant. It is expected that the project will be co-financed by a €15.4 million grant from the European Union via the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

The EBRD is currently involved in “just transition” initiatives in Serbia with the aim of providing support for workers who are currently employed in coal-related industries.

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