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Serbia Raising Incentives For Small Hydro Development

A new renewable energy development plan could reward small hydroelectric development with higher incentives, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The draft regulation, called the National Action Plan for Renewable Energy (NAPRE), was presented earlier this week by Serbia's energy ministry and hopes to increase green power sources to 27% of the country's overall mix by 2020. Renewables currently account for 21% of Serbia's gross energy consumption.

NARPE would increase incentives for small hydropower projects up to 1 MW in capacity more than 40%, while also raising the capacity cap for subsidies from 10 MW to 30 MW. Subsidy rates would increase by about a third to between US$0.0975 to about $0.195 per KWh, depending on their size.

"The changes reflect our strategy and our priorities as we work to increase the use of renewables under a European Union-backed regional agreement," said Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic.

Wind farms, solar plants, biomass and geothermal projects would also benefit from the plan.

The duration of power purchases at the proposed rates would last 12 years, Mihajlovic said.

HydroWorld.com recently reported that Italy's Maccaferri Group will soon begin work on 10 small hydropower plants along Serbia's Ibar River, and utility Elektroprivreda Srbije has signed a memorandum of understanding that will create about 920 MW of hydroelectric capacity along the Drina and Danube rivers.

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