Serbia to launch first solar and wind energy auction

Serbia announced on Wednesday that it will launch the country’s first renewable energy auction to support wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said.

Wind power projects with total capacity of 400 megawatts (MW) and solar PV projects with total capacity of 50 MW will be available in the first round of a three-year programme, which will auction a total of 1 gigawatt (GW) of wind generation capacity and 300 MW of solar PV capacity, the EBRD said.

Serbia has announced the launch of its first renewable energy auction today. Windpower projects with a total capacity of 400 MW and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a total capacity of 50 MW will be supported through a contract for difference for 15 years.

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

The upcoming launch of the auctions was first announced yesterday at EBRD Headquarters in London by Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabi?, where she met EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso to discuss energy-sector cooperation, alongside science and technology parks and other areas.

The public call for applications will appear on the ministry’s website.

The support scheme encourages the market integration of renewables, as developers receive support in line with market prices, in addition to income from the sale of electricity achieved in the power market. The auctions represent the first round of a three-year plan, which envisages the total allocation of premiums for 1,000 MW for windpower generation capacity and 300 MW for solar PV.

The EBRD, which has supported the introduction of renewable energy auctions in many other countries of operations, has been working with the Serbian authorities to introduce competitive procurement processes for renewable energy projects and regulatory reform in the energy sector to facilitate the introduction of auctions. SECO and EBRD shareholders have provided funding for the technical assistance project, which covers the wider regulatory framework for renewables, in addition to the auctions.

Prior to the launch of the auction, amendments to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources and accompanying secondary legislation, such as the balancing decree and the feed-in premium decree, were adopted to enable faster integration of new renewables capacity in the Serbian power system and market, while preserving the reliability and stability of the system’s operation.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of the Western Balkans, said: “We are proud to support Serbia in their ambition to decarbonise the power sector and their ambitious targets to accelerate the integration of renewable energy sources through open and transparent auctions. Our cooperation on broader sector reform and the implementation of auctions has helped to reach this milestone in the transition to a secure, resilient and more sustainable energy sector”.

To date, the EBRD has invested €8.5 billion in the country, with €400 million already approved this year, including €300 million in the energy sector to help Serbia’s energy security and decarbonisation.

Today, the EBRD also announced that it is considering a further loan of €62 million to Elektroprivreda Srbije, the national power utility, for the rehabilitation of the Vlasinske hydropower plant. The project is expected to be co-financed by a €15.4 million grant from the European Union via the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

The EBRD is also active in “just transition” work in Serbia, to support the employment of workers who currently engaged in coal-related industries.