Serbia and the Western Balkans can emerge from the energy transition as winners

, News

Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic said today that Serbia and the Western Balkans can successfully monitor EU member states in the energy transition and emerge from that process as winners, if different starting positions are respected, realistic goals and dynamics are set and adequate financial support is provided by the EU, her cabinet announced.

In her address at the online forum of the Energy Community “Fair Transition”, Mihajlovic said that this year, as well as next year, will be marked by great changes in the energy and mining sector, after which nothing will be the same as before.

“Serbia accepted the European Green Agreement by signing a declaration in Sofia in November 2020 and began creating a strategic and investment framework for the energy transition, which includes the adoption of new regulations in line with international standards,” she said.

She added that laws in the field of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources (RES) were adopted in April.

According to her, the laws on energy and mining were also changed, which, with the previously adopted Law on Climate Change, provided a new legal framework, more favorable for citizens and investors, harmonized with EU regulations and the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We have started drafting a national energy and climate plan and a new energy development strategy for the period until 2040, with projections until 2050, which we expect to be adopted by the end of the year,” she said.

Mihajlovic said that Serbia’s vision includes green energy and mining, and that new laws have created conditions for accelerated improvement of energy efficiency and new investments, which will increase the share of energy from renewable sources to at least 40 percent by 2040 and 50 percent by 2050.

“Large and medium-sized hydroelectric power plants, gas power plants, the development of additional capacities for energy storage, especially in reversible hydroelectric power plants and batteries, as well as solar power plants and wind and biogas power plants, are especially important,” she said.

The Green Agenda, as she said, should be a new model of growth in all economies, including the economy of Serbia, which is why we should be aware that this process requires a gradual transition to a new structure of the energy sector.

In support of these and other changes that will be determined by planning and strategic documents, as she stated, the Ministry of Mining and Energy, in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is preparing an action plan for a fair transition.

“We have focused on ensuring energy security, stable energy supply, decarbonisation and increasing energy efficiency. Our vision of a green Serbia also includes striving for climate neutrality and improving the environment and quality of life,” said Mihajlovic.

In these processes, as she assessed, “we should be together with other countries in the region, although we are aware that our starting positions are different, not only in terms of our economies and gross domestic product (GDP), but also in infrastructure, production and energy consumption,“ N1 reports.