Serbia has promising potential for renewable energy, especially hydropower. However Serbian government and the Electric Power of Serbia plan aims to remain locked-in to a carbon-intensive energy system, most notably through the construction of the 350 MW Kostolac B3 lignite power plant and the revival of the long-dormant Kolubara B project. As Serbia intends to join the EU, the country should also focus on energy efficiency, as Serbia has the second-highest energy intensity in the region, nearly four times as much as the EU average.
Serbia is a landlocked country in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. The country covers an area of 77,474 km². Serbia has a population of 7.2 million people (in 2016), the nation’s capital is Belgrade. The official language is Serbian.
The energy sector in Serbia is constantly developing. Serbia’s energy is based on coal and water energy. Although Serbia nowadays receives approximately 70% of electricity from coal, the country is already receiving a large quantity of megawatts from constructed facilities for generating energy from renewable sources, mainly from wind energy, biomass, biogas and hydropower.
Serbia has large coal reserves, with 4.5 billion tonnes of proven lignite deposits. The reserves are located in two main coal basins, Kolubara and Kostolac.
Serbia has produced oil and gas in small quantities since the mid-50s, but is heavily reliant on imports, mostly from Russia.
The plains of the northern Vojvodina region generally lie at elevations between 60 to 100 metres above sea level. The Fruška Gora hills with highest point of 540 meters interrupt these plains on the west, stretching along a triangle of land between the Danube and Sava rivers.. Hills and high mountains characterize the central body of Serbia. Its western margins include sections of the Dinaric Alps, and its eastern borderlands are part of the Carpathian and Rhodope mountain systems. The granite ridge of the Kopaonik Mountains, in Serbia’s southwestern Dinaric zone, reaches 2,017 metres. This is a tectonically active region notable for earthquakes. Serbia’s North-Eastern border follows the Iron Gate (Ðerdap) gorge of the Danube River, for 100 km, the Danube flows across the Carpathian range, its bed dropping 30 metres.
The climate in Serbia is continental, with cold, relatively dry winters and warm, humid summers. The difference between average temperatures in January and July in Belgrade is 22 °C.
Precipitation in Serbia ranges from 560 to 1,900 mm per year, depending on elevation and exposure. The lowest amounts are found in the Vojvodina. Most precipitation falls during the warm half of the year, with maximums occurring in late spring and late autumn. Winter precipitation tends to fall as snow, with 40 days of snow cover in northern lowlands and 120 days in the mountains. The yearly sunshine hours are approximately 2110.
Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment
The energy sector is of key importance for further economic and particularly industrial growth of Serbia. Manufacturing industries are concentrated in the north, particularly in the vicinity of Belgrade, which has the advantages of a long-established infrastructure, a developed labour force, the largest single market in the republic, and the greatest concentration of existing enterprises to serve as both parts suppliers and consumers of products.
Industrial employment accounts for about half of total employment in Serbia, while the service sector employs about one-third of the workforce. Agriculture, which is responsible for about half the country’s gross domestic product, accounts for about one-fifth of total employment. A substantial proportion of the population is either unemployed or underemployed.
Unemployment rate: 14.1% (2017)
Although Serbia has been a crossroads since it was traversed by Europe’s prehistoric Amber Routes (used for trade) between central Europe and the Mediterranean, it has lagged behind other parts of the continent in developing its transportation infrastructure. Only about half of the republic’s roads are paved. Serbia has a fairly extensive rail network. The Danube and its tributaries, the Sava and the Tisa, constitute almost the entire system of inland navigation in Serbia.