Neda Lazendić, Country Manager, WindVision Serbia

Wind Potential Waits For New Legislation

Windvision is an independent renewable energy supplier that operates in six countries across two continents. With knowledge of every step in the chain of renewable energy projects, Windvision is committed to delivering clean and safe energy

Neda Lazendić, Country Manager, Windvision Serbia

Wind turbines generate electricity from a natural, renewable resource, without any hidden social or environmental costs – there is no need to mine for fuel or transport it, no global warming pollutants are created, and there’s no need to store, treat or dispose of waste.

With 500 MW of electricity produced on wind farms, Serbia would be able to reduce electricity imports by 90 per cent. How far away from that goal are we?

– Serbian external energy dependency is high, while the need to diversify internal energy generation sources has been a topic for almost two decades. In my opinion, wind could definitively play a major role in contributing to the country having a more resilient and independent energy system. Wind parks are relatively easy to build and operate, their environmental impact is very low compared to other methods of energy generation, and they can quickly fill the import gap.

Luckily, Serbia has very favourable natural preconditions for wind parks, but this potential still largely remains locked. There are just a few turbines spinning at the moment, while several projects are close to the construction phase – despite the fact that we all started developing our projects about a decade ago.

Your ‘Alibunar’ wind farm complex has a total installed power of 174 MW. Do you plan to expand it and increase its capacity?

– For the moment we are waiting to see what the newest legal framework for electricity production from wind power will be like. We have not acquired a place under the cap, which means that we need to adapt our project to the new market and legal circumstances, which are yet not defined but are expected to lead to Feed-In Premium (FIP) system and auctioning.

Nevertheless, frequent legal changes and insufficiently transparent law-making processes slow down investments in this sector, but we are not in a hurry. We are sure that a project with the range and quality of Wind Farm Alibunar will find its place in the energy mix of Serbia under any subsidy model.

We are sure that a project with the range and quality of Wind Farm Alibunar will find its place in the energy mix of Serbia under any subsidy model

How high is the potential of Serbia when it comes to generating energy through wind farms, and how can the government encourage this sector’s faster development?

– As mentioned earlier, Serbia has solid potential for wind power generation, especially in the southern Banat region. The government officially supports investors throughout the process, but we often feel a lack of coordination between various competent institutions and we often experience difficulties at the level of local authorities who tend not to understand or simply neglect the broader interest of the country.

We are very proud of the progress that Alibunar Municipality has made in economic and development aspects, together with projects on its territory. We would also certainly benefit from a more predictable legal framework or a one-stop-shop institution/official that would help us move quicker through the administrative framework and speed up our investment cycle.