Serbia’s Renewable Energy Sector: The Impact on New Connections

Energy Projects STATT EMS EPS

Serbia’s ambitious stride towards renewable energy integration faces a significant hurdle, as the national electric power grid operator, Elektromreža Srbije (EMS AD), announces a temporary halt in connecting new renewable energy sources (RES) plants. This decision comes amidst concerns over the stability and security of the electrical system, largely attributed to insufficient reserve capacities necessary for system balancing.

The Core Issue

EMS AD has pinpointed a critical issue threatening the secure operation of Serbia’s electrical system—namely, the lack of adequate reserve capacities for balancing the influx of variable renewable energy sources. As a precautionary measure, the procedures for connecting power plants utilizing these variable sources are being postponed. This suspension highlights the challenges in integrating renewables, such as wind and solar power, which are inherently fluctuant, into the national grid.

Affected Projects

Despite the general moratorium on new connections, certain projects are exempt. According to a list accessed by AK STATT, 27 wind farms and 5 solar power plants are currently not subject to the postponement. These projects, with a combined installed capacity of over 4551 MW, represent a significant portion of Serbia’s renewable energy ambitions.

The Development Plan Insight

The Development Plan for the Transmission System of the Republic of Serbia, spanning 2023 to 2032, has set a maximum capacity threshold for renewable energy sources at 5800 MW, divided into 4800 MW from wind farms and 1000 MW from solar facilities. This plan, endorsed by the Energy Agency just days ago, outlines the roadmap for renewable integration while maintaining grid stability.

Criteria for Connection Exemption

EMS AD clarifies that the delay in connection does not apply to projects that have already concluded an agreement for a connection study at the time of the adequacy analysis. Moreover, power plants can bypass the delay by either securing new capacity for providing secondary reserve services, reallocating existing production capacities for such services, or ensuring a third-party market participant offers the new capacity on their behalf.

Looking Forward

The temporary pause in connecting new renewable energy sources underscores the intricate balance between advancing towards a green future and maintaining a stable and reliable energy system. The Development Plan for the Transmission System, accompanied by an adequacy analysis, aims to address these challenges by forecasting the needs and capacities of Serbia’s energy sector. As Serbia continues to navigate these complexities, the focus remains on creating a sustainable, efficient, and secure energy landscape.

EMS AD’s proactive measures, grounded in legislative frameworks and strategic planning, reflect a commitment to both renewable energy expansion and the operational integrity of the national grid. As the situation evolves, stakeholders anticipate solutions that will facilitate the continued growth of renewable energy in Serbia, ensuring its integration contributes positively to the nation’s energy security and sustainability goals.

Connecting Renewable Energy Sources to Serbia’s Grid: Only for Investors

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