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Serbia’s Minister of Energy expects further investments into renewables for the district heating sector

Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović Handanović expects to implement investments to use renewable energy into the district heating systems of ten cities by the end of the year, with the signing of two more agreements with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Earlier in February, a first agreement was signed between Serbia and the EBRD, for a project worth 40.5 million euros and involving the cities of Bečej, Bogatić, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Kruševac, Niš, Novi Pazar, Pančevo, Paraćin and Vršac.

“The use of solar collectors, heat pumps and geothermal sources will be crucial for the transition to clean energy sources and the reduction of air pollution,” she said after meeting with Matteo Colangeli, the EBRD director for the Western Balkans.

According to Ms Đedović Handanović, by 2025 Serbia will have 1,300 megawatts (MW) of renewables capacity installed through private investments, auctions and market premiums.

“This year, we will offer a capacity of up to 400 MW and we hope to have more capacity from solar power plants, given that we have the natural conditions to develop this type of energy,” she said.

She reminded also that the ministry, in cooperation with the European Union and international financial institutions such as the EBRD and the EIB, is working on installing smart metres across the country, in order to reduce losses on the network.

“In the last nine months, we have installed 200,000 new smart metres in households across Serbia from a donation from the European Union, while the plan is to replace about 80 per cent of the old metres with digital ones by the end of the decade,” she added.

Finally, the tender procedure and the conclusion of the contract for the reconstruction of the Vlasina hydroelectric power plants is expected to be completed during the summer.

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