Reducing Barriers for Development of Biomass Markets in Serbia

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Serbia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Reducing Barriers for Development of Biomass Markets in Serbia
Atlas Project Number: 00074238
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Serbia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2019
Planned End Date: 05/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Energy
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.5.1 Solutions developed, financed and applied at scale for energy efficiency and transformation to clean energy and zero-carbon development, for poverty eradication and structural transformation
SDG Goal
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG Target
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Manfred Stockmayer
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Reducing Barriers for Development of Biomass Markets in Serbia
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-1
GEF Project ID: 4517
PIMS Number: 4382
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SERBIA

As there are a number of initiatives and programs working on biomass in Serbia, coordination between various government players is important. In addition to ad-hoc committees, which are being established on emerging issues involving technical staff, regular coordination between ministries on the level of decision makers would be beneficial to further promote the increased use of biomass


Private sector has had an enormous contribution to the success of the Project. Without the perseverance of investors, their willingness to overcome new hurdles coming up and their ability to cover additional costs, only a small share of projects would have been implemented. The lessons learnt in the process of getting approvals on a municipal level and connecting to the electricity grid are extremely valuable. It would be important to invite private sector to share this experience with all relevant stakeholders, so implementation of new projects will become smoother. This project provides an excellent case study of how to work with the private sector that could be replicated in other countries and it is recommended to produce a detailed lessons learned study.


It was discussed during the on-site mission that the Energy Community is requesting Serbia to apply auctioning for adding new renewable energy capacity to the grid. It is important to understand that biogas/biomass and other renewables such as solar PV or wind power cannot be compared. Among other reasons, biomass/biogas projects are delivering constant power to the grid (the Bac projects are achieving more than 8,000 full load hours), provide new work opportunities for local companies and people and in many cases use organic residues for generating electricity. It is advisable that biomass/biogas does not have to compete with other renewables under an auctioning scheme.


There are a number of new project opportunities, which are currently in an early stage. Based on the work with municipalities, 3 new projects for use of biomass in municipalities have been identified. As part of the biomass potential study, which was established in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and the Finnish Embassy, 2 new projects were identified and proposed to the Ministry of Mining and Energy. These opportunities should be followed up by the Ministry of Mining and Energy in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities.


The e-trading platform, which was set-up as part of the Project, is an excellent opportunity for sellers and purchasers of various forms of biomass to meet and to create a transparent market. Sustaining this platform would be key factor for the viability of biomass projects in Serbia. This should be achieved – as envisaged by the Chamber of Commerce – by membership fees as well as revenues from selling advertisements. As the Chamber is running a number of platforms and can keep costs low, this looks feasible.


Other UNDP GEF projects in the region working on renewable energy projects and accelerating the development of renewable energy technologies should be invited to Serbia to see the excellent project results.


As mentioned in the report, biogas projects are not to produce electricity at current market rates of electricity due to the cost situation of input material. As a consequence, prolongation of a FIT (at lower level compared to current situation) should be pursued for projects currently under operation. Also, enforcing the current regulatory framework on organic waste would lead to a change in the price level of input material for biogas plant operators, which would be positive for the financial sustainability of these projects.

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