Serbia works on green hydrogen strategy

The Serbian government is still actively working on laws and regulations that will improve the level of renewable energy resources available in the nation. Hydrogen generation and utilization are one of these promising fields. This chemical substance is widely present on Earth and functions well as an energy transporter.

The proposed hydrogen plan outlines three key phases for implementation:

  • Hydrogen manufacturing in Serbia is anticipated to start around 2025.
  • Production levels of hydrogen should reach 5,100 tons by 2035.
  • 20,600 tons up to 2050.

A swift transition to energy is crucial for Serbia, according to the project’s authors, who also noted that the world’s top economies and technological innovators have already started the process of transitioning to hydrogen.

The proposed hydrogen plan for Serbia was unveiled in February 2021. Leading specialists and scientists from the nation, the majority of whom are professors at the University of Belgrade, actively participated in its development. The project was also developed with assistance from the Mihailo Pupin Institute, the Vina Institute of Nuclear Sciences, the Institute of Chemistry, Technology, and Metallurgy, and the Elektromashinogradnya business organization.

Despite the fact that “there is currently no agency with which to discuss further steps related to the implementation of the project since the country has a technical government,” Radivoje Mitrovic, one of the strategy’s authors and a professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, is confident that the hydrogen strategy will be incorporated into Serbia’s new Energy Strategy.

The report recommends that Serbia mobilize national resources, the academic community, the educational system, and industry as soon as possible and focus them on the creation and use of hydrogen technologies in order to catch up to the most developed nations in the world.

The project claims that Serbia’s academic and business communities are responding to a fresh global issue by working on the Hydrogen Strategy.

It should be emphasized that the Serbian government has not yet endorsed the final version of this policy. The document is updated often.

Goals of Serbia’s Hydrogen Strategy

The Green Hydrogen Strategy Draft for Serbia has six main objectives to assist secure the nation with renewable energy:

  • enact the necessary modifications to the law;
  • guarantee the availability of human resources and the potential to create new technologies with the ensuing decarbonization of energy, transportation, industry, and agriculture;
  • guarantee hydrogen production at new facilities;
  • By 2025, set up multiple renewable energy facilities to begin producing hydrogen; by 2035 and 2050, use at least 1% and 4%, respectively, of Serbia’s total electricity output for the generation of green hydrogen;
  • In renewable power plants with a combined installed capacity of 100 MW (80 MW in wind farms and 20 MW in solar power plants), 5,100 tons of hydrogen should be produced annually using 270 GWh by 2035;
  • Serbia should be able to manufacture over 20,600 tons of hydrogen by the year 2050 from 1,080 GWh of electricity produced by renewable energy sources with a combined capacity of 400 MW (320 MW from wind farms and 80 MW from solar power plants).

Energy-related laws currently in effect in Serbia

Serbia has considerable potential for hydrogen generation. There are several mountain rivers in the nation that contain waterfalls and, as a result, have considerable hydro-technical potential. Since water is the source of hydrogen, having a lot of water reserves is crucial for the implementation of the hydrogen strategy.

However, given the lack of comprehensive legislative control in this sector, experts perceive serious issues related to the creation of hydrogen.

On the other side, Serbia has passed the Energy Law, which classifies hydrogen generation as a unique form of energy. Accordingly, the following may be involved in setting up factories for its production:

  • public businesses;
  • legal organizations with different types of ownership;
  • private business owners.

Hydrogen is acknowledged as a renewable energy source in Article 4 of the second legislation governing this sector, the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 40/2021).

All organizations involved in the production, storage, and delivery of hydrogen can thereby make use of all the rights and advantages stipulated by the Energy Law.

Implementing Serbia’s hydrogen policy

A Memorandum of Understanding on Green Hydrogen, which covers the production, storage, and transportation of hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources as well as collaboration on collaborative projects, was signed in July between Serbia and Hungary. This paper is based on an agreement the two nations reached at the end of May about energy-related cooperation.

Hungary is prepared to share its policies and laws, as well as investment plans and projects, with Serbia as it has some experience with green hydrogen. The new energy regulations in Serbia, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic, acknowledge green hydrogen as a renewable energy source. She further stated that Serbia’s new energy development strategy will incorporate the hydrogen strategy as a key component.

Also in September 2022, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce started working on the creation of a hydrogen strategy with assistance from the German International Cooperation Organization in order to place Serbia in the best possible light among green hydrogen producers and hasten its adoption in industrial production.

A Memorandum on the collaborative generation of 20 million tons of green hydrogen utilizing electrolysis technology in Albanian sea waters until 2030 was signed on September 6 by Serbia and Albania.

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