The Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović, has recently held meetings with Norwegian officials as well as the World Bank – signalling strong interest in accelerating the country’s green transition and renewable energy, in particular.
Stronger energy ties with Norway
Last week, Minister Đedović met with the delegation of the Kingdom of Norway, led by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister, Andreas Bjeland Eriksen. Both sides discussed deepening Serbia-Norway cooperation in the field of energy, Norway’s experiences in the energy transition and opportunities for Norwegian energy companies to invest in Serbia.
The Serbian Minister highlighted that energy systems around the world are facing major challenges, primarily due to the rising prices of energy and energy products. In order to ensure energy security in the coming years, Serbia is working intensively on the development of new energy capacities, said the Minister – adding that in the implementation of the projects, Serbia is open to cooperation with international institutions as well as the private sector.
“We are preparing strategic plans to increase the participation of renewable energy sources and get closer to the goals of the Green Agenda of the European Union. In this sense, we welcome examples of good practice. Norway’s experience can greatly contribute to the acceleration of our path towards climate neutrality”, stressed Minister Đedović.
Norway’s Deputy Energy Ministry Eriksen said that Norway is an important partner of Europe at a time of severe energy crisis, increasing gas exports to meet the needs of European consumers. “Norwegian companies are interested in cooperation with the Republic of Serbia in the field of renewable energy sources, and they have rich experience in the application of advanced energy balancing technologies. The Nordic model of cooperation can serve as a good example for energy cooperation in the Western Balkans”, said Mr Eriksen.
Serbia and World Bank – ‘partners in the energy transition’
Prior to the meeting with the Norwegian delegation, Minister Đedović also met with the Director of the World Bank Office in Serbia, Nicola Pontara, to discuss joint projects between Serbia and the World Bank regarding the country’s energy transition, decarbonisation and reforms in the energy sector.
“The World Bank is an important partner of Serbia in implementing the energy transition”, said Minister Đedović – emphasising: “One of the most important joint projects is the National Program for Energy Rehabilitation of Households, that is, the project of subsidising the replacement of carpentry, boilers and stoves, installation of insulation and installation of solar panels.”
In terms of future cooperation with the World Bank, Minister Đedović also said that in the coming period, Serbia could discuss additional support for less developed local governments, which would receive larger grants. In addition, the country is ‘considering’ innovative solutions that will enable the use of green hydrogen, the Minister added.
The Director of the World Bank’s Serbia Office congratulated the Minister on her appointment and expressed the willingness of the World Bank to support the continuation of reforms in the energy sector.