The City of Belgrade’s district heating (DH) system is one of the largest in Europe with a total network length of 1420 km and capacity of over 2800 MW. Most of the network is run on natural gas boilers and fuel oil boilers with no utilization of waste heat from cogeneration or other sources, as well as a low integration of renewables (0.75% of capacity). In addition, the buildings are not very energy efficient and energy consumption rates are high. 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.
“Thanks to the CTCN and its partners, we will be able to incorporate innovative renewables and waste heat technologies in Belgrade’s district heating system. Such demonstrations are highly replicable to the other 58 Serbian cities. We hope, that the prepared feasibility study will help us to attract third-party finance”, 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.