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Serbia Sectors

What is Serbiaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

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.7

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 2021.9

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.

1 Republic of Serbia. Nationally Determined Contribution ( NDC ) of the Republic of Serbia for the 2021 – 2030 period. (2022).

2 Energy Community. Secretariat welcomes Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans – Energy Community Homepage. (2020).

3 Republic of Serbia. Draft Low Carbon Development Strategy with Action plan. (2019).

4 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019)..

5 Republic of Serbia. Second National Communication of Turkmenistan Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Eng_Serbia.pdf (2017).

6 IEA. World Energy Balances: 2021 version. (2021).

7 Republic of Serbia. Draft Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan 2021 – 2030 of the Republic of Serbia with a vision by 2050.(2022).

8 Republic of Serbia. Zakon o korišćenju obnovljivih izvora energije – Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources. Službeni glasnik RS (2021).

9 eKapija. eKapija | Gde smo godinu dana nakon donošenja Zakona o korišćenju obnovljivih izvora energije – Prikaz regulatornog okvira. (2022).

10 Republic of Serbia. Указ о проглашењу Закона о енергетској ефикасности и рационалној употреби енергије Закон о енергетској ефикасности и рационалној употреби енергије – Decree on Promulgation of the Law on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy Law on Energy Efficiency. (2021).

11 Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia. Уредба о условима и начину спровођења субвенционисане куповине нових возила која имају искључиво електрични погон, као и возила која уз мотор са унутрашњим сагоревањем покреће и електрични погон (хибридни погон) | Министарство заштите животне средине – Regulation on the conditions and method of implementing the subsidized purchase of new vehicles that have an exclusively electric drive, as well as vehicles that, in addition to the internal combustion engine, are powered by an electric drive (hy…. (2022).

12 Balkan Green Energy News. Građanima Srbije i u 2023. subvencije za kupovinu električnih i hibridnih vozila. (2022).

13 EconStor. EconStor: Orient/East-Med Corridor: Challenges and potentials. (2019).

14 Srbijatransport Beograd. Saobraćajni sistem Srbije. (2020).

15 Using projected LULUCF emissions by 2030 from Serbia’s NDC document to estimate the absolute emissions level including LULUCF. See assumptions here.

Serbiaʼs power mix

terawatt-hour per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Serbiaʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • 100%RE
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Serbia

Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
10 to 120
−20 to 0
2035 to 2039
Relative to reference year in %
−99 to −84%
−102 to −100%
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
0 to 15
Share of unabated gas
2025 to 2031
Share of renewable energy
85 to 98
Share of unabated fossil fuel
2 to 15