Ten Serbian cities and municipalities have been selected to join a government programme offering financing for switching to district heating systems powered by renewables.
The selected local governments under the programme include Bečej, Bogatić, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Kruševac, Niš, Novi Pazar, Pančevo, Paraćin and Vršac.
The government programme is co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Austria and Switzerland. According to Serbian Energy and Mining Ministry, the estimated value of the programme’s first phase is 40.5 million euros, which is expected to start “soon” following contract signings.
“With this project, we are continuing the introduction of renewable energy sources into the district heating sector, which we successfully started with the construction of biomass heating plants, three of which have already been put into operation, and work will soon begin on the fourth. New investments will ensure that citizens have reliable and high-quality heating, that heating plants function more efficiently, that they use green energy and at the same time protect the environment,” said Serbia’s Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović.
Minister Đedović Handanović noted that the project will finance the renovation of district heating systems primarily based on heat pumps, solar collectors, geothermal energy, as well as the automation of heating substations.
Heating plants in the selected local governments are estimated to produce around 115 gigawatt hours (GWh) of heat energy from renewables. The total amount of heat energy produced from renewable sources in Serbia is expected to increase from the current 95 GWh to 210 GWh, according to the Mining and Energy Ministry.
Primary energy consumption is also expected to be reduced by an additional 61 GWh through the application of energy efficiency measures and cut carbon emissions by 14,600 tons, the Ministry added.
In late August, Serbia’s Mining and Energy Ministry and German development bank KfW signed contractor agreements for the district heating system renovations in Nis, Leskovac and Negotin, under a separate “rehabilitation of the district heating system in Serbia” project.