The number of buyers-producers of electricity, the so-called prosumers, is evidently growing in Serbia. In just one year, since the first customer-producer of electricity was registered in Serbia, which produces electricity for personal use through solar panels, their number has exceeded 1,300. The largest number of consumers are households, which in this way reduce the bills for the energy used. For an average household, between 4,000 and 5,000 euros of investment in the installation of solar systems is sufficient, which depends on the typical average monthly production. The investment is paid back in less than 10 years, and it is profitable from several aspects.

Experts say that, first of all, it is profitable in the context of decarbonization, i.e. abandoning the use of coal, and it is also positive from the aspect of environmental protection and economic development in Serbia.

Ever since the first prosumers appeared in the spring of last year, business has been booming for companies that install solar systems. The high demand for solar panels did not affect the increase in purchase and installation prices.

What are the experiences of consumers

Miloš Lončar, one of the first Serbian prosumers, invested about 9,000 euros in the solar system in his household, and he expects that this investment will pay off in about 20 years. He lives in a house of almost 300 square meters. When he officially started producing his own electricity last year, he also had to change his lifestyle.

“What was once valid in the people ‘turn everything on at night’ has now turned into ‘turn everything on at noon,'” Lončar told Euronews Serbia.

Energy from solar panels is best used during the day when the sun is at its peak. Lončar explains that the previous month he consumed more electricity than he produced. At that time, his electricity bill, for a house of almost 300 square meters, was about 4,500 dinars.

“Personally, I am satisfied with my bills, and therefore with the fact that I made an energy-efficient house and that contributes to the reduction of the bill, but I am not so satisfied with what we projected in relation to the decree we signed, where it was said that it would be a calculation to the net metering, not to the taken electricity. Yes, they removed the VAT from the purchased electricity, but there are still many, many things that put a lot of burden on the accounts of the prosumer himself,” said Lončar.

Consumers sometimes produce more electricity than they consume, but they cannot sell it and thus further reduce their bills.

“I donated almost 3.2 megawatts of electricity to EPS,” says Lončar.

The profitability of the investment depends on consumption

The President of the Association of Power Engineers of Serbia, Nikola Rajković, tells Euronews Serbia that in his previous experience as a consumer, he has produced more energy than he has consumed, and that he is handing over the surplus to Elektrodistribucija Srbije.

This, he adds, is very positive because it replaces kilograms of coal in Obrenovac and Kostolac. Rajković says that everyone should design their small solar power plant roughly according to their needs.

“That is the most important thing at the moment and if it is well projected there, then there are no problems. Decarbonization is an expensive process, energy transition, all of that is very demanding. This approach to energy production, we call it distributed production, low-voltage production or decentralized production, is the right way and must be encouraged in all possible ways, it must be talked about through the media, the state must understand that it must create an even better framework, and when will have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of consumers, then the state will easily benefit greatly from excise taxes,” said Rajković.

The Minister of Energy, Dubravka Đedović, reminded of the amendments to the VAT Act, which significantly affect consumers.

“We have agreed with the Ministry of Finance that VAT is not calculated on all the energy that the producer customers receive from the electricity industry, but only on the consumed energy, and thus the producer customers got a more favorable tax calculation and thus, of course, lower prices and a faster return on investment,” said Đedović recently. at the conference “Prosumers – one year later”.

Rajković says that his experience is good and that the type of consumption the household has depends on how much the investment will pay off.

“It depends on the type of consumption you have, we are all different when it comes to households. I have a heat pump and the payback period for this investment with this increased price will be much faster, it all depends on the consumption. The most important aspect of this whole problem is that we are finally starting to get energy not only from large centralized power plants, but also from small producers, the so-called prosumers. However, we should not only think about electricity, we have to think about the total energy needs. When you look at it, in a serious perspective where we have a decarbonized power system, the impact of this production on the consumption side, that means us small producers, will be very significant. “It can go up to 20 or 25 percent of the total consumption, and that’s why the state has to encourage this area even more, that’s why we have to have even better results in this, 50,000 is not enough, we have to have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of consumers,” said Rajković.

The business with solar panels is booming in Serbia, the region lacks hundreds of installers

Ever since the first prosumers appeared in the spring of last year, business has been booming for companies that install solar systems.

“We had from Sombor and Kikinda to Vlasotinac, that means from north to south”, Miodrag Vuković from the company “CONSEKO”, which deals with the installation of solar systems, told Euronews Serbia.

The high demand for solar panels did not affect the increase in purchase and installation prices.

“Prices have fallen. “In the last year, as the situation has normalized in terms of various measures, the prices of solar panels have fallen, and the prices of inverters have remained at a stable level,” says Vuković.

Rajković stated that the average household needs between 4,000 and 5,000 euros to install solar panels and connect them to the system, maybe even less, and that it depends on the typical average monthly production.

“If it is not a completely atypical consumption, I think that the investment is guaranteed to return in less than 10 years, and it can still produce for an additional 15 years. That investment is definitely profitable from all aspects, above all it is profitable in the context of the whole work we do, which we call decarbonization, abandoning coal. It is positive from the aspect of environmental protection and it is positive from the aspect of economic development in Serbia,” said Rajković.

He believes that there will not be enough companies if the number of people interested in installing solar systems increases sharply, and that is why many small companies can find their perfect business plan.

According to the information he has, as he says, at the moment there is a shortage of several hundred fitters for solar panels in the region, and this whole job requires not only fitters, but also people who know how to design and fit it in the best possible way.

E2 portal (Euronews)

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