Ambassador Christopher Hill and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović launched USAID’s new five-year, $20 million Regional Investment in Energy project that will help countries in the region identify and develop investable energy projects.
“Energy security is not a country-by-country issue. Like so many of the pressing challenges we face today, it is a problem that demands regional cooperation. We expect this activity to result in millions of dollars of new investments in energy projects in the region. And I fully expect Serbia to play a key role in that program – which will help secure the energy security of Serbia and the entire Western Balkans in the future,“ said U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill.
Developing investment-ready, bankable projects will reduce or eliminate risks for potential energy investors, thus increasing the chances of projects being financed. The Investment in Energy activity will initially focus on improving investment potential in the following areas: Improving operation and management of energy and water utilities, heat and power generation, transmission and distribution networks, heat supply, citizen demand side, water supply and sanitation.
“The energy sector in the region, including in Serbia, is in need of investment which is far beyond the capability of public funds. The main objective of the new activity called “Investment in Energy” is to assist the energy sector to develop investable projects and attract private investment, and thus, to improve its reliability, resilience, and energy supply security and to help in transitioning towards increased applications of clean energy,” said Andrew Popelka, Senior Energy Advisor, USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia.
The Ambassador and the Deputy Prime Minister also announced the beginning of a joint public information campaign on energy savings. As part of the campaign, implemented by the Ministry of Mining and Energy and USAID Serbia’s Better Energy project, with “EU for You” support, starting in November, households in many parts of Serbia will receive a leaflet with recommendations on how to reduce electricity consumption with their monthly bills. Citizens throughout Serbia will also receive information through televised Public Service Announcements about effective ways to save energy.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, prof. dr Zorana Mihajlović said that for Serbia to achieve energy security investments in new energy capacities, the efficient implementation of the green energy transition and the strengthening of regional connectivity are most important.
“I expect that Serbia’s participation in USAID’s regional project will bring new projects that will bring Serbia closer to its goals in the area of clean energy and energy efficiency. Also, I believe that a joint campaign to inform the population about energy efficiency will enable us to reach as many citizens as possible with information on effective ways to save energy, thus helping us to overcome the current energy crisis collectively better,” said Mihajlović.