The number of prosumers (mixture of the words "producer" and "consumer") who produce electricity from renewable sources for their own needs is growing exponentially in Serbia and Electric Power Industry of Serbia provides them with full support as this brings savings and relieves the power system, it was said at the conference named "What the introduction of prosumers brings to the Western Balkans' power system".
- EPS is undoubtedly committed to the development of renewable energy sources, but large investments are needed not only in new power plants running on the RES but also in other parts of the system so they could be connected to the grid. It is important that EPS allocates funds for these investments from its own activities - said Vladimir Šiljkut, advisor to the director for the EPS business system.
Šiljkut added that for a long time now EPS has been making a loss based on the payment of RES fees, because less money is collected from customers than is paid to privileged producers, and warned that the prices paid by households for electricity in Serbia have been lower than the production price per kilowatt-hour in EPS, also for a long time.
- Considering that the production costs are higher than the selling price, and that more than half of the selling price goes to EMS and Elektrodistribucija Srbije for the network fee, it is clear that EPS business is making a loss on this basis as well. And all expenses regarding maintenance and new investments, necessary for the work of EPS, are increasing on a daily basis - pointed out Šiljkut. - The electric power system must continue to function, so due to all this the price increase will become inevitable at some point, but it is also necessary to consider all relevant factors. Even with possible corrections, the electricity price for both households and the economy will remain significantly lower than in the surrounding countries.
Executive Director of EPS Electricity Supply, Radovan Stanić, said that the company maintains compliance with the regulations and enables a simplified procedure for prosumers.
- EPS has so far received 81 requests from prosumers regarding conclusion of contracts, out of which 51 contracts have been concluded, 43 with citizens and 8 with companies. We are going to issue four invoices for prosumers already for April, for the Gruner power plant in Vlasotince and for three households with solar panels on the roofs. We did our best to make this process as simple as possible and we fully support this production from RES, especially the concept of prosumers because it reduces the pressure on EPS regarding production and the need for import - said Stanić and added that the Ministry of Mining and Energy is also contributing to the growth of the prosumer number with subsidies of 50 percent for the installation of solar panels for households.
At the conference organized by the Balkan Energy portal and the Sustainable Energy Transition Association, which is dedicated to the influence of prosumers, Jovanka Atanacković, State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, said that regulations created a business climate suitable for the development of this sector.
- The state provides incentives for prosumers, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to households, and this active program is planned for 20,000 households. The change that comes with prosumer is the key to Serbia's energy independence and security, because the facility with solar panels is independent, and every dinar invested remains in Serbia, where energy is used - Atanacković pointed out.
She announced that the next step in enactment of regulations in this field will be the obligation to install solar panels on every new facility that is being built.
The President of the Council of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia (AERS), Dejan Popović, assessed that the introduction of prosumers brings a huge chance to change the energy mix by increasing the share of renewable sources and cited the example that three years ago Italy already had over 800,000 prosumers.
- A larger number of prosumers will relieve the pressure on the electric power system. Citizens should be helped with subsidies so that investing in solar panels would be profitable in the foreseeable future - said Popović.