The city of Kragujevac is one of the 11 cities and municipalities in Serbia that, starting today, begins the process of modernizing the district heating system using renewable energy sources.

On behalf of the City of Kragujevac, The Memorandum of Understanding with prof. Dr. Zorana Mihajlović, the Vice President of the Government of Serbia and the Minister of Mining and Energy, Mr. Matteo Colangeli, Regional Director for Western Balkans at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and H.E. Urs Schmid, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, was signed by Mayor Nikola Dašić and Mr. Andreja Ilić, the Director of Energetics.

The project implies the installation of a heat pump to take over the heat emitted by the equipment in the Data Center for the needs of the heating plant Airport which is located about 800m from the Data Center.

In this way, the costs and consumption of electricity for the Data Center would be reduced, and at the same time a source of heat would be provided, Mayor Nikola Dašić explained. These projects are another contribution to the City’s determination to provide cleaner air and a greener Šumadija.

Thanks to the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the President of Serbia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Ministry of Ecology, we managed to implement one of the largest projects, which is the replacement of coal-fired boilers with gas boilers in the district heating system, which reduces air pollution by 70 percent during the heating season. In cooperation with the Ministry of Mining and Energy in this year and the previous year, we allocated 50 million dinars for 400 households, which showed the greatest interest in the procurement of gas boilers, replacement of carpentry and insulation of residential buildings within the framework of energy rehabilitation.

Mayor Dašić also reminded of a set of green decisions. From the New Year, all catering facilities are obliged to have activated charcoal filters installed, and from September the 1st, a decision came into force obliging investors to plant one tree for each newly built apartment or shop. When we multiply the number of seedlings by the number of issued building permits – the result is serious afforestation of our Šumadija, Mayor Dašić pointed out.

Today, there is no more important and expensive word than energy and energy security, said prof Dr. Zorana Mihajlović. The data says that we now produce 37 GWh of thermal energy from renewable energy sources. By implementing the planned projects in 11 local self-governments, we will produce 197 GWh of thermal energy from RES, that is, 3.5 times more.These projects will also result in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by around 25,000 t per year. Every ton, every kilogram of gases and particles less means a better quality of life.

The value of the project is 40.5 million euros. The EBRD, with whom we are cooperating for the first time in this way, finances the project with 30 million euros, and the Swiss government and the EU donate 7.5, i.e. three million euros, and in the next four years all projects will be finished and will enable other cities to use renewable energy sources for the production of heat energy.We have potential and it is important to turn it into energy, said prof. Dr. Mihajlović.

Mr. Matteo Colangeli, Regional Director for Western Balkans at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, addressed the present and pointed out that in the light of the crisis, the importance of the project started a year ago is even greater. This will be an example of how to accelerate the energy transition, improve energy security and improve air quality.
According to H.E. Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia Mr. Urs Schmid, both of our countries are facing challenges when it comes to reducing emissions with the greenhouse effect, and we are trying to increase the percentage of RES that we use for energy production. The project will demonstrate how the district heating system in Serbia can function using RES, thus creating an example of best practice and developing the market for green and innovative technologies.