Serbian ITM Group investing in building of SHPPs

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Although citizens and NGOs have organized numerous protests against the construction of SHPPs and several municipalities outright banned their construction, owner of Serbian ITM Group Toplica Spasojevic said that it plans to partner with hydropower equipment manufacturer Andritz Hydro and build small hydropower plants (SHPP) with the capacity of 5, 10 and 12 MW using its turbines.

Spasojevic reminded that the company has represented Andritz Hydro for many years, adding that now is the right time to invest in hydropower. However, the final decision depends on whether the Serbian Government would approve incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs again this year.

Last October, Serbian Minister of Environment Goran Trivan said that the amendments to the law on protection of nature will ban the construction of small hydropower plants in protected areas, but those already built in such areas will not be demolished. He stressed that SHPPs of the derivation type are harmful, especially considering the way some of them were built, adding that the Ministry’s position has always been that this type of SHPPs cannot be built in protected areas.

A decree on subsidies for electricity generation from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration expired at the end of 2019. The Ministry of Mining and Energy said in January that electricity producers would still be entitled to the feed-in tariffs if the applications filed since the beginning of 2020 are approved. However, they can collect these subsidies only after a new decree is issued.

Previously, Serbian authorities suggested that they may abandon current feed-in tariff scheme in favor of the auction based model.


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