Serbia’s government has proposed new legislation that will allow everyone who consumes electricity to become a producer and thus reduce their bills, said Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic on March 30.
“[W]e want to enable solar panels to be installed on the roof of every house and residential building,” the minister said.
"The more electricity you produce, the lower your bills will be.”
The law on renewable energy sources was one of four draft laws in the field of energy and mining adopted by the government at a session on March 29. These are intended as a legal framework that will enable new investments and direct Serbia towards green energy and the green economy.
Currently the country is mainly dependent on coal power, but some renewables projects have been launched including the Cubik 1 wind farm, which is the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in the Western Balkans. As it moves closer to EU accession, Serbia is looking at ways to reduce emissions.
The government agreed earlier in March to Serbia to cooperate with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the energy transition and green energy.
The Bill on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources should enable new investments in renewable energy sources and increase the share of renewable energy sources in total energy production.
The new law introduces market premiums instead of the current feed-in tariffs, which are retained only for small plants and demonstration projects, in accordance with EU state aid rules.
The new incentive system will expose producers to the impact of the market and competition, reducing costs for citizens and the economy, while providing a stable and predictable legal framework for investors, a government statement said.
The government also adopted the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Energy, which will harmonise the law with the EU acquis communautaire.
Amendments to the existing law will ensure security of supply for Serbia, protect the interests of all market participants, as well as increase competition, according to Mihajlovic.
The Bill on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy aims to achieve energy savings, security of energy supply, reduce the impact of the energy sector on the environment and climate change, and contribute to the sustainable use of natural and other resources.
This law envisages the establishment of the Directorate for Financing and Encouraging Energy Efficiency within the Ministry of Mining and Energy instead of the previous Budget Fund for Improving Energy Efficiency.
That will enable the attraction of EU grants, as well as funds from international financial institutions, in order to increase energy efficiency, and it is especially important that the funds will be available to citizens, said Mihajlovic, according to a government statement.
The fourth piece of legislation adopted by the government was the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Mining and Geological Research, which creates conditions for more efficient management of mineral and other geological resources and increased investment in geological research and mining, with the aim of increasing the share of the mining sector in GDP.