Energy Efficiency in Serbia

IndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2005

By Simeon Oka

Major part of all primary energy resources in Serbia consists of coal (83%), particularly lignite presents 85%. Reserves of oil and gas are only 5.6%, and are mainly exhausted. Hydro potential makes another 4.7%, and oil shale 4.1%. By further investigations those reserves can be augmented by 20%. Almost all coal reserves and hydro potential in large water streams are already engaged for the power plants in operation. That means that if the large coal reserves in Kosovo cannot be used, it will not be possible in near future to erect new large thermal power plants or satisfy future consumption.

Energy efficiency in use of natural resources, electric power production, industrial and district heating units in electric energy transmission and distribution and in consumption of final energy is larger and evident at every step of the energy chain. Besides, dependence on imported high quality fuels is larger. In general, about 50% of final energy consumption in Serbia are based on imported fuel – oil and gas. Only about 20% of necessary oil and gas can be supplied from domestic resources. Power production in industry and district heating is based mainly on imported fossil fuels (share of imported fuels in industry is about 65%, and in district heating 80%).

In spite of dependence on imported fuels for use in traffic and for energy production in industry and district heating, electricity production in Serbia is presumably based on domestic energy resources – 95% of electricity is produced from domestic energy resources – lignite 70% and hydropower 30%. In power production old technologies are used, dating from the beginning of 80-ies. Great part of power plants passed first lifetime period and needs serious refurbishment, both due to the low efficiency and unacceptable emissions of SO2 and NOx.

Some data about energy efficiency

The following data can illustrate present status in energy sector, particularly in energy efficiency. GDP in Serbia has been decreased from 1989 for 2.5 times, but electricity consumption per capita 3400 kWh/capita per year, is at the level of middle developed countries in Europe. Consumption of electric energy per 1000$ of GDP – 17000kWh/000$ per year, is the highest in Europe, as well as the overall consumption of primary energy – 1100 ten/000$. Primary energy consumption of 1500 ten/capita per year is lowest in Europe, and must be increased in the future if economic development and industrial production is desired. Losses in electric energy transmission and distribution are extremely high – 19%, according Serbian experts in energy efficiency.

Priorities of the Serbian Energy up to 2015
Strategy has formulated five basic priorities:
  • Modernization of energy technologies, including mining technologies, power plants, transmission and distribution of energy, and energy production in district heating and industry,
  • Rational use of fuel and increase of energy efficiency in energy production, transmission and end use,
  • Use of renewable energy resources and implementation of new efficient use of alternative energy resources of 4-5% in 2010.