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Michael Köttner Belgrade , Serbia 19 February , 2014. GIZ DKTI Program „Development of a susatinable bioenergy market in Serbia “ Framework conditions for biogas production in Serbia Assessment of the biogas sector in Serbia – Summary of findings.

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Michael k ttner belgrade serbia 19 february 2014

Michael Köttner

Belgrade, Serbia

19 February, 2014

GIZ DKTI Program „Development of a susatinablebioenergymarket in Serbia“Framework conditionsforbiogasproduction in SerbiaAssessmentofthebiogassector in Serbia – Summaryoffindings

Development in Germany related to Biogas technology

  • Over 100 regions, town and communities have +/- 100% supply in RE, ‏partly based on biogas

  • Special bioenergy villages supply heat and power with biogas as a base load

  • Some regions have biogas as their main electricity source

  • Town of Kirchberg an der Jagst has 105% RE coverage in electricity

  • Town has 3 biogas plants, 5 wind energy plants, 5 hydro power stations, many photovoltaic plants

Tasks conducted
Tasks conducted

Background assessment

Stakeholder interviews

public stakeholders

commercial stakeholders

private stakeholders

Site visits at biogas plants

Background assessment
Background assessment

Basis: available literature on biogas or biomass sector in Serbia (e.g. UNDP Baseline Assessment, Guide for Investors, relevant legislation, papers from GIZ and others)

 Assumptions & hypothesis:

Permitting procedure is too complicated

„One stop-shop“ is needed

Difficult financing due to late issuing of priviledged power producer status and secure biomass supply

Low level of knowledge on various administrative levels and at farmers

Stakeholder interviews
Stakeholder interviews

Interviews have been conducted with

Ministries on the national level

National energy agency

Provinical secretariat of energy and mineral ressources (Vojvodina)

Universities of Belgrade (Faculty of Mechanical engineering) and Novi Sad (Faculty of Technical Science)

Stakeholder interviews1
Stakeholder interviews

Operators / Investorsofbiogasplantsorrepresentative

Financial institution (Erste Bank)

Biogas association


LawyerforEnergy Law

Existing biogas plants in serbia
Existingbiogasplants in Serbia

Vist & Interview


Vist & Interview



Velvet farm urug key data site visit
Velvet Farm, ČurugKey data / Site visit

  • throughputapprox. 37.500 t/a

  • feedstock: cattleslurryanddung, sugarbeetpulp, cornsilage

  • 4.000 m³ digestervolumeHRT = 40 d

  • CHP: 635 kWelinstalled

Velvet farm urug plausibility check plant sizing
Velvet Farm, ČurugPlausibility check plant sizing

Mirotin group vrbas key data site visit
Mirotin Group, VrbasKey data / Site visit

  • throughput: 45.960 t/a

  • feedstock: cattleslurry, sugarbeetpulp, agriculturalresidues

  • 5.300 m³ digestervolumeHRT = 60 d

  • CHP: 1,6 MWelinstalled

Velvet farm urug plausibility check plant sizing1
Velvet Farm, ČurugPlausibility check plant sizing

  • Not enoughdataavailable

Lazar dairy blace key data interview
Lazar Dairy, BlaceKey data / interview

  • throughput: approx. 27.000–30.000 t/a

  • feedstock: cattleslurry, whey, cornsilage (oldone), molasses (non-continuous?)

  • 3.750 m³ digestervolume (estimationbased on oral information)HRT = 45-50 d (calculated)

  • CHP: 1,0 MWelinstalled; real outputbetw. 600 kWeland> 900 kWel(appro-ximation)


Plausibility check plant sizing lazar dairy blaze no molasses
Plausibility check plant sizingLazar Dairy, Blaze, nomolasses

Plausibility check plant sizing lazar dairy blace with molasses
Plausibility check plant sizingLazar Dairy, Blace, withmolasses


Positive results

Biogas is on the agenda

Legal framework conditions (e.g. gridconnec-tion, feed-in-tariff (FiT)) have been established

Responsiblities of the authorities are defined

Procedures for aquiring permits are defined and have beenpublished


Findings barriers energy sector 1
Findings & BarriersEnergySector 1

FiTistoolow (andhasbeendecreasedcomparedtofirstimplementation) anddoesnot recognizethe real productioncosts

SerbiahasthelowestFiT in theregion

Applicationforpriviledged power producerstatusonly after completionofconstructionandstartofengine→ElectricitycannotbesoldtofullFiTfromthebeginning→ lost income

Low levelofknowledgeaboutbiogasatutilitycompanies

Findings barriers legislation permits 1
Findings & BarriersLegislation & Permits 1

Varyinglevelofknowledgeaboutbiogas (anddifferencebetweenbiogasandbiomassplants) both in national andin localauthorities→ longapprovalprocess

Applicationforpriviledged power producerstatusonly after completionofconstructionandstartofengine→ElectricitycannotbesoldtofullFiTfromthebeginning→ lost income

High level (national) but lowpriorityfiresafetyapproval→ delay

Findings barriers legislation permits 2
Findings & BarriersLegislation & Permits 2

Approvalprocedure / permittingprocedureis easy, wheninvestorhas a strong position in theregionandknowsthelocalauthoritieswell

WasteLaw: differentiationbetweenbiomassandwasteissometimesdifficult→barriertoutilise non-problematicwasteforenergyproduction (e.g. residuesfromjuiceproduction)

Findings barriers financing 1
Findings & BarriersFinancing 1

Financingisonlypossiblewith high shareofownequityand / orownsupplyofsubstrates

Return on investmentis 12 yearsorlonger→toolongtobeattractive

Low trustofinvestors in thestabilityofSerbiangovernment, frequentchangesofframeworkconditions& no legal protectionofstatus quo (e.g. existingconstructionpermitbecomes illegal after amendmentoflaw) →hesistantinvestment

Findings barriers financing 2
Findings & BarriersFinancing 2

Bad economicsituationoffarmers→difficulttoaccessfinancing (noattractivecustomer)

Population in South-Serbiapaysa lowpriceforelectricityandheat (crosssubventionfromthe northern consumers) →lowwillingnesstoinvest in a technologythat will increasecosts


Findings barriers agricultural sector 1
Findings & BarriersAgriculturalSector 1

Highestbiogas potential isseen in agriculture, but agriculturalinstitutionsare not involved in deve-lopmentofbiogassector

Generally lowproductivityofagriculture

Underserbianconditionsonlythevery large agriculturalcompanieshavethemeansandknowledgetoimplementbiogasplants

Concentration in animalhusbandry→lowernumberoffarmswithhighernumberofheads

Findings barriers agricultural sector 2
Findings & BarriersAgriculturalSector 2

Deliverycontractswithfarmersare not reliable, iffarmercansellthecropatbetterconditionssomewhereelse→ high degreeofownproductionrequiredtosecurebiomasssupply→ landdemand

Weakmeatindustryandreducednumberofanimalheadscomparedtopre-war times, supplyonlytolocalmarket

Slaughterhousesrun in averageon 50% capacity→ lowprofitability→ noinvestment in biogastechnology

Findings barriers biogas sector
Findings & BarriersBiogas Sector

Technology supplyfrom European orinternational companies→relatively high investmentcosts

No national database on substratespecific gas yields, German valuesaretakenasreference

No national laboratorytosupportorsupplyservicestothe national biogassector

Recommendations legislation 1
RecommendationsLegislation 1

Re-calculation of FiT to make biogas plants econo-mically viable (maintenance & repair, replacements must be possible) →min 18 €ct/kWh would berequiredtobeattractive

1 coordinating authoritiy for the approval (one stop-shop) to reduce barriers for investors

Extend preliminary status of priviledged power producer to biogas plants (apply for status parallel to construction permit) → to smoothen thetransitionbetweentest-operationand normal operation + eliminatefinanciallossesfortheinvestor

Recommendations legislation 2
RecommendationsLegislation 2

Involve agricultural sector with its structure & training facilities (manure management, demon-stration plant, agricultural advisors)

Investment subsidies to promote biogas technology as an emmission reduction technology

Fire safety assessment on local level to speed up permitting procedure

Establish an independent complaint office at higher level to open at least a 2. complaint instituton

Recommendations agriculture

Manure management and methane emissions are an issue → biogas plants help to solve this

Knowledge and a strategic approach is existing in the Ministry of Agriculture (e.g. Unit for Programming and Promotion of Rural Development) → should be involved more

Recommendations general

Capacitybuilding on all levels (ministry, localauthorities, farmers / investors, banks)

Collective residuedisposalplacesforsmallerfarms→feedstockfor „communal“ biogas plant →possiblywithdistrictheating „bioenergyvillage“

Serbianresearch on biogas→ national capacity / knowledge, biogas plant benchmarkingandsupportforoperators, might also be valid for WWT plants

Suggestion for next steps
Suggestion fornextsteps

  • Establishcontactandexchangeinformationwithotherprojects (e.g. dealingwithwastemanagement, manuremanagement, wastewatertreatment) toseewherecommongoalsmightbe

  • Involveagriculturalsectoranduseexistingstructure (e.g. agricultureextensionofficers, agricultureschools) fordemonstrationandpromotionofbiogas

  • Check optionstoestablish a national biogaslaboratory

  • Kick startwith a fewmore expert workshopsortrainingcourses

GIZ DKTI Program „Development of a susatinablebioenergymarket in Serbia“Framework conditionsforbiogasproduction in SerbiaAssessment ofthebiogassector in Serbia – Summary offindings


IBBK Fachgruppe Biogas GmbH

Am Feuersee 6

D-74592 Kirchberg / Weckelweiler


Tel. 0049 (0)7954 926203

Fax. 0049 (0)7954 926204


[email protected]