Small Hydropower in the Balkans - Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo
This report elaborates about small hydropower in the Balkans. Energy is one of the largest sectors in Serbia’s economy, with an immensely large untapped potential for renewable energy, estimated at 4.3 Mtoe. Hydropower has the most significant potential, estimated at about 17 GWh, of which 10 GWh is in use. Of the 7 GWh of unused capacity, about 1.8 GWh can be produced from small hydropower plants (HPPs). Currently, there are around 60 HPPs in operation in Serbia, most of them managed and owned by the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS). There are 870 potential sites, with the maximum availability on the Juzna Morava, Ibar, Zapadna Morava, Lim, Drina and Nisava basins. Currently, there are more than 30 small HPPs being developed in Serbia.
Interlaced with rivers, Montenegro is rich in water resources and so abundant in hydrological potential, which is estimated at 10 TWh. The construction of small HPPs began in 1937 with Podgor (0.4 MW) and the River of Crnojevici (0.5 MW) in 1938. Besides them, five more small HPPs were constructed. According to the Montenegro Ministry for Economic Development, the realistically small HPP potential is assessed as 400 GWh/year.
The energy sector in Kosovo is in a dire state, and its hydro resources are not well developed. The Ministry for Energy & Mining (MEM) conducted studies to access the potential for HPPs in 2006, 2009 and 2010. The government has identified 77 locations with an installed capacity of 128,197 MW and an estimated energy production of 680 GWh per annum. The ‘Energy Law’, ‘Energy Strategy from 2009 until 2018’, ‘Kosovo Water Strategy 2015-2034’ and the NREAP represent the legislative and strategic documents to regulate renewable energy deployment. For the implementation of the development of renewable energy resources, the Energy Regulators Office (ERO) has adopted a feed-in tariffs incentive scheme for the generation of energy from small HPPs and wind.
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