Serbian Government adopted the proposal of the Law on Renewable Energy Sources

The ratification of this law in the Parliament is expected.

The purpose of this law is to stimulate the production of energy from renewable sources and new investments in this field of work in Serbia by introduction of new legal mechanisms.

The new law supports the auction mechanism as the replacement for the feed-in-tariff system used so far.

This law also introduces the concept of public tender for selection of a public partner in the RES field of work. Another addition is definition of how energy producers must adhere to the rules and regulations related to water resources management and environment, as well as how inspectors must perform the corresponding monitoring.

Separate Code on Renewable Energy Sources in Serbia

Ministry of Mining and Energy announced the development of a separate code dedicated to renewable energy sources. This field of work is currently regulated by the Law on Energy.

The motive for development of this document would be the creation of an environment that could support better harnessing of renewables in Serbia.

It is expected that the incentive system should be changed, meaning that the renewable energy auctions shall replace the existing feed-in tariffs.

Prime Ministers of Serbia and Republic of Srpska (B&H) signed a joint statement on construction of the “Gornja Drina” hydropower system

On November 11th, 2020 in Banjaluka was signed a joint statement on construction of the three hydropower plants in the upper part of the Drina River watercourse (“Buk Bijela” HPP, “Foča” HPP and “Paunci” HPP), which together constitute the “Gornja Drina” hydropower system. The estimated system implementation cost amounts to approximately EUR 520 million. The project shall be implemented by the “HES Gornja Drina” company, which was established by merging of the companies “Hidroelektrana Buk Bijela” (“Buk Bijela hydropower plant”) and “Hidroelektrane Foča i Paunci” (“Foča and Paunci hydropower plants”) in September 2019. Owners of the present company are “Elektroprivreda Srbije” (“Electric Power Company of Serbia”, 51%) and “Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske” (“Electric Power Company of Republic of Srpska”, 49%).

EC Policy Guidelines – Small hydropower projects

The Energy Community Secretariat published the Policy Guidelines – Small hydropower projects. This document is intended for all member-countries, primarily the ones from the Western Balkans. This document shall be useful to the developers of SHPP projects, as well as to the authorized institutions and general public.

During the last several years a certain public dissatisfaction with the construction of SHPPs was evident in several EC member-countries. This dissatisfaction was not reflected only in protests in public, but also in grievance directed towards the EC.

Therefore, one of the goals of the Guidelines is also the harmonization of the SHPP construction process with the environmental impact assessment procedures, with the objective of abatement of adverse impacts of this construction upon the environment.

The Guidelines also handle some other important topics, primarily the ones related to SHPP financing, i.e. incentives. The Guidelines were adopted after their draft version was the subject of public consultations in duration of one month, and during that period a number of comments and suggestions has been received, coming mostly from NGOs.

Important Steps Towards the Construction of the “Komarnica” HPP Taken

Komarnica River

The Government of Montenegro adopted a document titled “The Plan for Award of Concessions for Use of Watercourses for Hydropower Plant Construction in Montenegro for 2020“. This plan envisages the construction of only one concession, the one for construction of the “Komarnica” HPP on eponymous river. Apart from this, for 2020 the Government does not plan to award a concession for construction of any other hydropower plant, large or small.

Regarding small hydro, Government’s position is that further construction of small hydropower plants in Montenegro should not be encouraged. In case of large HPPs, Government’s opinion is that the construction of any large hydropower plant is a complex process, and that simultaneous realization of such projects in not desirable.

The Government also adopted the proposed issuing of the document titled “Detailed Spatial Plan of the Area Occupied by the Multi-Purpose Reservoir on the Komarnica River”. The General Director of the Directorate for Spatial Planning in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ms. Marina Izgarevic Pavicevic, had during the media conference organized following the Meeting of the Governmental session announced that, in order to make this planning document compatible with all aspects of environmental protection, a decision was made to prepare a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with the Law on Strategic Assessment.

She also pointed out that this spatial plan was submitted for the Governmental adoption procedure in a completely transparent manner and that public participation and prior public discussion have been provided. The chosen technical solution has no impact upon the Nevidio canyon and the settlement of Savnik.