Power sector in 2030
Serbia’s power sector emissions decreased from 37 MtCO₂e/yr to 26 MtCO₂e/yr between 1990 and 2019, a roughly 29% decrease. The sector’s emissions intensity also reduced by about 25% in the same period. The decline was largely a result of a decrease in the share of fossil fuels, from 81% to 71% of the electricity mix, and a concurrent increase in the share of renewables from 19% to 29%, in the same period. Fossil fuels, mainly coal, did however still account for the biggest share in the energy mix in 2019.
All of the 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here show an increase in the share of renewables by 2030, to 85%–98% from a 29% share in 2019. At the same time, the share of fossil fuels drops sharply, with coal being phased out in the early 2030s. All but one of the scenarios foresee an increase in overall electricity generation.
Serbia is currently drafting a National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) as a part of its obligations as a contracting party to the “Energy Community”. The draft NECP includes four decarbonisation scenarios with varying levels of ambition, with renewables expected to produce between 49% and 59% of power by 2030. This renewable energy share is still lower than any of the 1.5°C compatible scenarios analysed here.
In 2021, Serbia passed the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources. The law provides the legal basis for establishing a category of prosumers as actors on the electricity market and a system of feed-in tariffs to support renewable energy uptake, with the level of tariffs determined by auction.8 However, this law focuses exclusively on wind generation and excludes solar PV. No auctions have taken place in the two years since the law’s adoption in 2021.
Towards a fully decarbonised power sector
Both the “low and high energy demand scenarios” analysed here suggest that to be 1.5°C compatible, Serbia would need to fully decarbonise its power sector by around 2040 at which point 100% of power generation would come from renewable energy. Coal and gas would be phased out by around 2030. The scenarios shown in Serbia’s draft NECP that foresee a phase-out of thermal power plants by 2050 and a small amount of coal kept as a reserve are not in line with the 1.5°C compatible pathways.