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CTCN in Serbia: Identified technologies to modernize the district heating system in Belgrade

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The City of Belgrade’s district heating is the largest in Serbia and one of the largest in Europe with a total length of 1,420km and a capacity of over 2,800MW, almost half the total DH capacity in the country. “Beogradske elektran” manages the system which supplies heat to approximately 50% of household, business and public buildings in Belgrade. The system’s priority is to switch heat sources from almost exclusively imported natural gas to a more diverse mix of fuels, including renewables and waste heat.

In view of the need for a harmonized approach towards energy efficiency, the CTCN received a request from Serbia to modernize the district heating system and increase the rate of renewables integration. The CTCN responded to the request by facilitating pro-bono support via the Republic of Korea.

“Enhancing renewable energy and waste heat to the district heating system is a priority for the city of Belgrade, and must be developed as part of a holistic action plan. The integration of renewable and waste heat sources requires of innovative technologies that have already been proofed in northern European countries but that have not been demonstrated yet in the Serbian district heating market. Thanks to the CTCN and its partners, and in consultation with local stakeholders, we now have a potential study of renewable technologies and we have identified five priority technologies. It laid the foundation for future cooperation”, noted Dr. Vladica Bozic, Head of Section for Implementation of Project, Ministry of Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia, CTCN National Designated Entity.

The activities in the Serbian capital began in 2016 as part of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, the District Energy in Cities Initiative. The experts helped Serbia to develop a deep assessment of the city, including an Action Plan for District Energy of the City of Belgrade, envisioning the next 20 years. In addition, a pre-feasibility study is being developed that evaluates the possibilities for interconnection of the existing district heating network and introduction of alternative energy sources. Another deliverable agreed with the city of Belgrade is a study on available renewable energy sources, with an emphasis on solar thermal district heating, which is being prepared by the Korean Government, Korea District Heating Corporation and Yujin Energy. 

As one of six accelerators of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, the District Energy in Cities Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership coordinated by UNEP. It is supporting market transformation efforts to shift the heating and cooling sector to energy efficient and renewable energy solutions currently in 14 countries, Serbia being one of the pilots. The Initiative supports local and national governments to build local know-how and implement enabling policies that will accelerate investment in modern – low-carbon and climate resilient – district energy systems. 


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