Serbia (at that time part of Yugoslavia) became a member of the World Energy Council in 1924. As one of the WEC’s founders, the Yugoslav World Energy Council Member Committee, including high federal government officials and leading experts in all energy sectors, was active all the time both on local and international scene. At present the Serbian World Energy Council member committee is continuing this practice. Its membership (individuals from governmental institutions, universities, scientific institutes, energy industries and consulting and other companies, as well as from professional associations in the energy field as the MC collective members) takes an active part in all energy related matters in the country.
Dr. Nenad Djajić, chair of the Serbian Member Committee of the World Energy Council, is Professor Emeritus at the Mining and Geology Faculty of Belgrade University. In parallel to teaching students, he has gained experience in solving complex energy problems, including energy strategies, studies and projects in energy efficiency, spatial planning, municipal energy, modelling and balancing energy-producing processes and promotion of renewables. Dr Djajic is the vice-chairman of the Serbian Scientific Society, a full member of the Serbian Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Editor-in-Chief of journal “Energy”. He is the author of 3 university textbooks and 4 monographs, as well as of more than 470 papers. He took part in more of 230 studies and projects in the field of energy and reviewed 19 university textbooks and monographs. As a participant of many international and local conferences, he presented papers on the sustainable development energy in Serbia, the optimum structure of final energy consumption, improved energy efficiency and use of local energy sources.
Dr Miodrag Mesarović, Secretary General of the Serbian WEC Member Committee, is a Senior Advisor in Energoprojekt Entel Consulting Engineers Co. in Belgrade. He graduated from the Electrical Engineering Faculty University of Belgrade, and specialized in nuclear technology in Sweden and France. He holds a doctorate of Technical Sciences from the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the University of Belgrade. His professional experience includes local and international energy projects’ planning and design, nuclear safety and environmental protection, as well as strategic energy sector development planning, energy economy, and financing in the energy sector. He was an invited lecturer for postgraduate studies at several universities of former Yugoslavia. Dr Mesarovic is a full member of the Serbian Academy of Engineering Sciences and chair of the Academy's Energy Board. He is chair of the Scientific Board of the Serbian Association of Thermal Engineers, as well as member of the Board of the Serbian Nuclear Society and a member of the Serbian National Committee of CIGRE. Dr Mesarovic is author of over 270 scientific and professional papers, as well as many monographs and university textbooks.
Energy in Serbia
Comparing 2019 and 2020 results, Serbia’s energy leaders have shifted their perception of the Critical Uncertainties landscape from a focus on digitalisation and decarbonisation, to a focus on Market Design and related Geopolitical issues including Russia, China and Middle East Dynamics. Action Priorities remain consistent with last year’s results, with strong attention to energy technologies. Interestingly, Regional Integration is perceived with much less uncertainty, moving from Critical Uncertainty to Action Priority.
Russia leads the uncertainties landscape. Serbia retains close ties with Russia, which is the country’s sole provider of natural gas via Ukraine. As the extension of the Russia-Ukraine agreement on gas transport to Europe is still uncertain, and the fate of “Turkish Stream” gas pipeline is uncertain due to pressures from the EU and the US, there is uncertainty on how to ensure gas supply to an ever-growing number of consumers in Serbia.
China and other large investors in Serbia’s energy intensive industries appear to be another Critical Uncertainty. This may reflect related concerns around the weight of carbon-intensive projects supported by foreign investments and their impact on the country’s ability to achieve a planned 27% share of renewable energy sources in the final energy consumption by 2020.
Middle East Dynamics is also identified as a Critical Uncertainty with respect to the region’s significant impact on oil prices on the global market. As it is heavily dependent on oil imports, the Serbian economy is sensitive to any potential increase in oil prices. Gas sales prices to Serbia are linked to oil prices.
Coal is seen with increased Impact and remains an Action Priority. Electricity produced from domestic lignite accounts for about 70% of overall electricity production and is being tackled both by EU environmental protection standards and by new proposals of the Law on climate change and of the Strategy and Action Plan on the decarbonisation of the Serbian economy. The proposed plan includes measures aimed at much higher emission reductions than the original NDC target of 9.8% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Energy Efficiency and Renewables are perceived as Action Priorities. Serbia has adopted a legal framework to encourage the use of renewables and highly efficient cogeneration by subsidising the price of electricity, attracting considerable private investments. It has also created a fund to subsidise energy efficiency measures. The Energy Efficiency plan for the residential sector aims to achieve savings of 15-25% per household while reducing CO2 emissions. The EBRD recently provided a €2.5 million loan to assist upgrades of 40 old buildings in the country.
Regional Integration enters the Action Priorities section with low uncertainty. Access to the European Union is a key policy objective for Serbia. This will allow political and economic integration within the bloc and increase regional cooperation in the Western Balkans. Another Serbian policy objective is to diversify its sources of energy supply by exploring additional gas pipeline options with Romania and Bulgaria.
Serbia must increase security of gas supply by extending its regional connections. In the power generation sector, the country needs to refurbish and increase efficiency of its coal fired power plants which will remain in operation after 2023, including the incorporation of due environmental protection systems to meet the EU standards. To address the global warming issue, Serbia will enact the Law on Climate Change and implement the low-carbon strategy in energy and other sectors. Efforts are needed to increase energy efficiency and to achieve the 27% share of renewables in gross final energy consumption by 2020, including 10% share of biofuels in transportation.