Serbian citizens, animal lovers, responsible owners. We are witnessing animal cruelty, torture,…
On December 20th, 2018, ORCA and a Serbian newspaper Srpski Telegraf sent…
The state and the citizens together against the breeding of animals for…
“By 2020, 37% of the total electricity in Serbia should be from renewable sources (National Renewable Energy Sources Action Plan).
Using research, training, and networking stakeholders, ORCA aims to contribute to the establishment of energy cooperatives in our country. Energy cooperatives may become very effective mechanism for increasing the percentage of energy derived from renewable energy sources, respecting the principles of environmental protection.
What are energy cooperatives?
Energy cooperatives represent associations of individuals, entrepreneurs, institutions and other interested stakeholders from local communities, who unite their own financial and material resources, in order to establish ownership over the energy production from local renewable energy sources. Therefore, cooperatives which produce energy from renewable sources have an economical potential reflected in local investments, new job opportunities and revenues for local community. This kind of system increases energy security (decreased import of energy in local community) due to using available local renewable sources. Furthermore, it prevents energy impoverishment, that occurs due to high prices of uncontrolled and/or imported energy. At the same time, new job opportunities are being created. In this way, renewable energy becomes a pillar of sustainable development, not only through energy-related aspect but also through economic, social and ecological aspect of community development.
Current situation in the energy sector in Serbia
Electricity produced from renewable sources in 2012 was 27% of total electricity production in Serbia. In line with National Renewable Energy Action Plan by 2020, 37% of energy production should be produced from renewable energy source (RES) in order to fulfill national targets i.e. targets taken from the energy community treaty.
Legislation in the energy sector envisage numerous incentive measures for the for the promotion of the use of RES in this sector. Most direct measures are feed-in tariffs i.e. subsidies for the producers of RES. Also, defined by the law, Power Purchase Agreement is agreement between power producers and power distributers about privilege for RES purchase (which would allow funding of projects by the banks). Furthermore, it is envisaged, through market mechanisms, the increase of competition at the energy market by ending monopoly of Electric Power Industry of Serbia in supplying the electricity market. From 2015, customers are able to choose on their own the electricity supplier and it is expected the appearance of new companies which will provide energy supply for all types of customers (high, medium and low voltage)
Recent floods in Obrenovac indicated the most critical weakness of the power system in Serbia. According to the media, due to flooding of Kolubara coal mines, national electricity consumption was drastically reduced and it was necessary to import large quantities of electricity (35% of total needs) at high prices. Diversification of production or introduction of different systems for electricity production is the only way to prevent future similar threats to the security of energy system in Serbia, or to avoid consequential costs for society.
Establishment of energy cooperatives represents potential as part of the solution to these challenges in the energy sector as well as in production of heat energy (distance heating) and energy for transport (e.g. biofuels, charging electric vehicles). It represents a step toward diversification of Serbia’s energy portfolio and increases the percentage of renewable energy in the final energy production and consumption. Apart from very small number of people who have installed energy systems of modest capacities for their own use, energy cooperatives or other civil initiatives for energy production from renewable sources currently do not exist. This program aims to gradually but drastically change previous mentioned situation.