The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is currently conducting a feasibility study for a solar thermal project for Pančevo, which involves installing 35,000 square metres of solar collectors and building a 150,000-cubic-metre-underground, seasonal storage facility.
This technology enables the use of solar thermal energy both in summer months, when it is most available and in winter months, by using surpluses generated during the summer and stored in a seasonal storage facility.
Similar solutions are being prepared for Novi Sad and Bor, while Valjevo and Šabac have expressed their interest in projects involving heat pumps that use waste heat from wastewater treatment facilities.
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Apart from these two types of renewables, district systems can also use geothermal energy, biomass, biogas, as well as heat from seas, lakes, and rivers.
To support these projects, the EBRD has set up the Renewable District Energy in Western Balkans (ReDEWeB) fund, aimed at helping to increase investments in the renewables sector. The fund plans to enable the implementation of ten projects in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
Bojan Bogdanović, Principal Fund Manager for Renewable District Energy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), says that the bank wants to support the use of renewables in district heating and cooling systems in all countries in the region because it is affordable and beneficial for people, the systems, the air quality, and the fight against climate change, as well as for achieving the goals that countries in the region have committed to.
“Citizens of the Western Balkans are no longer in doubt whether climate change is a reality, and they’re aware that energy efficiency and district heating systems help reduce its impact, but they don’t want their bills to rise. Projects implemented in Europe demonstrate that renewables in district heating and cooling systems, without subsidies, can cost the same or less than fossil fuels, meaning that bills would not go up, while bringing numerous other benefits,” says Bogdanović.
This post is also available in: Italiano