RES for Our Health and Survival

Photo: RES Serbia

The Association Renewable Energy Sources of Serbia (RES Serbia) has taken only three months to become a significant factor in Serbia’s green market and be acknowledged as a regional player.

It is a business association formed to connect economic entities interested in improving the business environment, legal regulations, and private-public dialogue in the renewable energy resources (RES) sector. In addition, particular attention will be given to educate and inform citizens, namely to bring awareness on the relevance of green energy for people’s health, environment, energy sector, and economy.

We talked with Danijela Isailović, the manager of RES Serbia, about the Association founded with the support of the European Bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD) and about the investment environment in Serbia.

EP: In three months, you have managed to draw the attention of the public and experts?

Danijela Isailović: We caught the attention because Serbia needed this kind of Association in Serbia for a long time. The timing was good as we were established at the same time when the Law on renewable energy sources was adopted. The founders are licensed producers of electric power, and the support of The European Bank for reconstruction and development has been of great importance. These are all our references. Still, the sound energy that we contribute to renewable energy is something that helps us stand out. We are open to everyone. We try to reply to all requests and to be available to all media requests too. We pay complete respect to local communities and media. Although this is a business association, renewable energy sources are mainly a concern of ordinary people whose health and survival are reasons for stopping climate change.

EP: Who are the members, besides the biggest wind parks, who are the Association founders?

Danijela Isailović: Serbia’s biggest solar energy producers, such as the MT-KOMEX and Solaris Energy companies, lawyers, consultants, construction and installation companies, have joined in. Soon, at our regular session of the Management Board, we will accept few more members.

EP: You have signed the cooperation agreement with the Ministry of mining and energy. What is the content of the contract, and has the implementation already begun? Were there positive reactions to the Association establishment also from other state authorities?

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Gonz DDL)

Danijela Isailović: RES Serbia and the Ministry of mining and energy share the same values and goals – we want more clean, green energy. Accordingly, we can take steps together to create regulations, organize workshops, conferences, and promote the idea of green Serbia. The agreement implementation has already begun. We have become members of Workgroup for subsidiary laws. I believe that epidemic measures will allow a big RES conference to be held in September. Upon establishing the Association, the most significant public companies for us, such as Elektroprivreda Srbije EPS and Elektromreža Srbije EMS, have positively responded. With both, we have agreed on cooperation. The Provincial Government of Vojvodina institutions that issued permits for all wind parks built so far have expressed positive views towards the Association, just like other state authorities. We have sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. We said our wish to improve cooperation and achieve our interests through the Chamber. Our members have been very active so far in the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, and they have been giving legitimacy and green recognition to the Association of Energy at the Chamber. Having founded RES Serbia, the members who pay a relatively high membership fee at the Chamber of Commerce haven’t refused their right or obligation at the Chamber. With this new option, they want to contribute to the RES industry in Serbia.

EP: The new Law on renewable energy sources has been adopted. But will it result in an investment boom?

Danijela Isailović: The Law is a clear message that Serbia decided to take a green path. After the Law, the following steps are decrees, the introduction of auction model and commercial agreement on electric energy purchase. Then we will see who are big investors, what projects are good, who can buy wind turbines, solar panels, and who has the means and skills to get financed by a bank. No state is a wishing well that provides everything to everyone. The rule of Law and bankable regulations are things that the state should provide. Investors have to take certain risks if they want and have projects.

Interviewed by: Nevena Đukić

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine WATER RESOURCES.