Đorđe Popović, Director, Resalta

Solar Market Set To Grow

Resalta was founded in 2011 with the aim of becoming the leading provider of energy services in the region. A decade later it had became a leader on the markets of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Czechia and Romania, where it was running some 300 projects in both the public and private sectors, bringing reductions of over 100,000 tons of CO2 and other pollutants.

For successful projects, clients need not only engineering excellence but also reliable advice on the legal framework and the right model to achieve specific business goals. Resalta’s team of top engineers and specialized lawyers offers exactly this.

The projects you develop and the measures you take as energy service providers help your customers. Do they also help the wider community?

Exactly… What unites us at Resalta is a shared sense of purpose, a real contribution to the community in which we operate. This is primarily in protecting the environment and reducing harmful emissions, but also in a measurable increase in energy efficiency for our clients and financial savings that free up funds for further development.

When we started, the ESCO concept was quite pioneering and present only in the most developed economies such as Germany and Japan. So a huge effort was needed to spread awareness of its advantages in Southeast Europe and for it to really come to life in regulation and practice. A decade later, we can proudly say that we are leaders on the markets of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Czechia and Romania, and that we have carried out around 300 such projects in the public and private sectors, making reductions of over 100,000 tons of CO2 and other pollutants.

We are always looking for optimal and technologically superior solutions, tailored exactly to the specific project

The core of our business model is that we can offer the client to completely take over the investment, design and project implementation, with a fixed fee for the service, for technological improvement of the process and for long-term operation and maintenance. At the same time, the risk is entirely Resalta’s for the entire contractual period, so the client can fully devote himself to his core business.

And this is equally valid whether it is biomass, heat pumps or combined production of electricity and heat, whether it is solar power plants, efficient LED lighting, energy renovation of buildings, compensation of reactive energy or complex processes of decarbonisation of large systems.

The real measure of your projects’ success is the savings your clients achieve, and it should also be mentioned that you are not dependent on any single supplier of equipment or technology. Is that what sets you apart?

Without savings for the client, there is no business for Resalta, and technological neutrality is without any doubt one of our main advantages on the market. We are not exclusively tied to any single equipment manufacturer, but we are always looking for optimal and technologically superior solutions, tailored exactly to the specific project, with the priority of top quality, service and rapid response. Otherwise, we would not enter into long-term business arrangements with our clients.

On the other hand, I think what most sets us apart is the combination of two completely different things: technical and regulatory expertise. I can freely say this is the key to our success. Energy is a highly regulated industry, with frequent changes in local regulations and extremely dynamic global developments in technology. So for successful projects, clients need not only engineering excellence but also reliable advice on the legal framework and the most appropriate model to achieve a specific business goal. Resalta’s team of top engineers and highly specialised lawyers enables its clients to do just that.

Our solutions help Serbian industry to make large reductions in CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve technological processes

I can illustrate this with a concrete example. In Serbia, we started solar projects only last year. But we did not want to settle for a simple turnkey approach, which was practically the only available arrangement on the market. Instead, we created a completely new business model, based essentially on the ESCO principle and in compliance with current regulations. In this model the client – with all project activities and investment on Resalta’s side – immediately becomes the owner of the solar power plant and a registered buyer-producer (a so-called prosumer). The fee for our services and the investment is paid in the long term at fixed rate, which immediately achieves energy savings, has predictable operating costs, reduces CO2 emissions, returns excess electricity to the grid and frees up financial resources for further investment in your core business. With this, we opened a completely new segment of the solar market in Serbia, and I can proudly say that in an extremely short time we have contracted almost 10 MW of projects, and this is for the most respectable companies that do business with us, such as Henkel and Xella. This specific market continues to grow and I expect a lot of success in this field.

To what extent do your innovations and your economical energy solutions contribute to Serbia’s goal of increasing the production of renewable energy to 40% by 2040? Do you think we will succeed if we continue at this rate?

Our solutions concretely and visibly help Serbian industry to reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve technological processes – we are very proud of this. We always insist on measurability of results as a basic parameter of business success. And it can even bring up to 80% savings for lighting projects, and result in complete carbon neutrality for large clients.

Considering the growing number of companies that want to achieve this and the overall favourable environment for energy efficiency projects and renewable energy sources, I have no doubt that Serbia’s goal will be reached or even exceeded.

However, it is important that we maintain an uninterrupted and constructive dialogue between industry and the government, achieve central and structured support for projects that need it, and continue to use the best experiences from the European Union and the region. At Resalta we are looking forward to remaining an indispensable factor in that process.

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