Since the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources in Serbia was adopted in April 2021, there has been a strong interest in installing solar panels.
An increasing number of citizens and companies use the opportunity to produce electricity for their own needs and to distribute the surplus to the national power grid and thus become prosumers.
The prosumer concept focuses, first and foremost, on households and small businesses. At the same time, large industrial consumers will have the opportunity to self-supply with the help of the active buyer concept.
The installation of solar panels in households is also supported through the subsidy programme for boosting energy efficiency for family houses and residential buildings, which the Ministry of Mining and Energy implements together with local governments, which incentivizes citizens to decide to produce electricity.
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A multitude of connection requests
Elektrodistribucija Srbija (The Electric Power Distribution of Serbia Company) has received numerous requests from producers who generate electricity from renewable energy sources to connect to the national power grid.
With the passing of amendments to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, the new Law comes into force, which prescribes limits for the connection of capacities to produce electricity from renewable sources to avoid overloading the distribution and transmission grids.
Predrag Matić, director of the Planning and Investments Directorate at Elektrodistribucija Srbije d.o.o. says that the prosumer concept was practically introduced in April 2021, while the current amendments to the Law have supplemented and developed it. In his company, the initial interest in the concept was shown in November 2021, after adopting the Decree on Criteria, Conditions and Manner of Calculation of Receivables and Liabilities between Prosumers and Suppliers.
“We can say that the interest is strong, and the procedure for establishing a connection has been significantly expedited compared to the beginning of the application period. So, for example, in April of this year alone, we connected 200 new users to the grid and entered them into the Prosumer Registry,” explains Mr Matić.
Novelties that the Law amendments bring
The amendments mentioned above to the Law stipulate several changes related to the category of prosumers. Predrag Matić says they have no significant influence on citizens who want to install a solar power plant as they are more related to the industry in the prosumer segment.
“Citizens’ interest is not expected to decrease. The only essential change that the power plant’s installed power limit is determined at 10.8 kW for households. The current average for connected users is 8 kW, so it is essential to increase the threshold to make it more profitable to install solar panels,” Mr Matić adds.
An increasing number of solar power plants, like all capacities generated from renewable energy sources, must be connected to the distribution grid after construction. Any new power plant, be it solar, wind power, biogas or hydropower, affects the grid. As a responsible company, Elektrodistribucija Srbije, says Predrag Matić, checks all technical prerequisites for connection to the grid of each production facility, drafts connection studies in which criteria are checked based on operating and grid rules, etc.
He especially underlines the fact that everyone is ready for challenges when it comes to connecting new prosumers to the grid.
When asked if he expects Elektrodistribucija to change the operating rules this year, which will define the possibility of connecting power plants with a battery system, Matić says that that is a matter of laws and by-laws, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mining and Energy and does not relate to operating rules. He adds that Elektrodistribucija Srbije must adopt new operating rules only after the prerequisites are met.
Prepared by: Milica Radičević
Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES