The Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović emphasized that Serbia continues to work on amendments to the laws on energy, which, overall, will provide the basis for the transformation of not only Srbijagas, but other energy companies as well.
“First of all, we need a good legal framework and foundation in order to implement changes in certain companies. We are continuing to amend the laws in the energy sector, which will, overall, give us the basis for the transformation of not only Srbijagas, but other energy companies as well”, said Đedović. Asked about Srbija-gas, the minister said that there is no reason why all companies should not modernize and become more agile.
Đedović reminded that the separation and changes in the legal framework have begun and that first step is related to the amendments to the laws on energy while the second step is focused on the amendments to the laws on the management of state-owned enterprises.
“Before the assembly finished its work in the summer period, we voted to amend the Law on Energy, where the management of entities is separated. Now, certain entities remain under the jurisdiction of the government, and certain entities are transferred to the jurisdiction of the assembly, that is, the commission that will be formed, which practically reduces the fact that only the government has influence over all energy companies when it comes to management,” said the minister.
When asked about how she sees the future of EPS (Elektroprivreda Srbije) and its role, Đedović reminded that the state has started the process of reforming companies in the energy sector, which is important for the stability of the economy, adding that the statute of the company has been changed as well as the form.
“They are talking about how to get a more efficient, responsible management, that people have goals, that the fulfilment of goals is measured, as it is done in the private sector”, said the Đedović and added that “the goal is to be a leader in the region”, which in order to be obtained, must include other companies in the process.
Renewable energy and investment opportunities
Đedović also looked back at the replacement of woodwork and energy efficiency and the fact that the state provides subsidies which covered 50 percent of the costs thanks to which 20,000 citizens were able to change the boiler, install solar panels, and replace the woodwork. With these state incentives, savings are estimated up to 30 percent, states Đedović.
The minister says that the state encourages the market to invest in renewable energy sources, which she evaluates as very important for investors who value security and a predictable regulatory framework: “We conducted the first largest auctions for the allocation of market premiums in the region, for 450 megawatts of one. That’s quite a capacity if we know that it now had about 500 megawatts for both solar and wind energy”, said the minister adding that when all seven or eight power plants included in the program are built, country will double its capacities, which is also necessary to attract investments.
She underlined that its important that the state does not buy electricity, because electricity is a variable stock exchange category, and it may happen that the contract is not evaluated properly, which was the reason for switching to auctions. “If the price of electricity is higher than that offered by the producers at the auction, they pay the difference, if the prices are lower than the offered, the state pays”, says Đedović.
The ministry emphasized that the Serbia has done a good job, having in mind that country has received on average a price for the largest part of the capacity at around 68 euros per megawatt hour, knowing that current market price is 100 – 110 euros, and according to long-term projections, it will not fall below 90 or 80.
In addition, she added that in next two or three years investors will invest over one billion euros throughout Serbia, where the projects are located.
“If we know that we are strengthening our hydro potential, that we are planning the construction of the Bistrica reversible hydroelectric power plant, that we are doing a feasibility study for the construction of the Đerdap tri reversible hydroelectric power plant and that we will carry out repairs, that we will reach higher capacities– this gives us the certainty that we will have enough renewable energy sources”, concluded Đedović.
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