Balkan Solar Summit 2024, one of the leading conferences in the Balkans, dedicated to the promotion of green energy and environmental protection, took place in Banja Luka on 8 and 9 February. It was aimed at connecting key industry players, and business and political leaders to share their visions and experiences.
The event was opened by Antonella Di Sandri, Head of Operations Section for Economic Development, Natural Resources and Infrastructures, Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina & European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Staša Košarac, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our Partner Petar Mitrović was one of the moderators, presiding over the panel focused on financing solar and wind projects, their models and challenges.
Delving into the challenges around green energy growth, the discussions pinpointed delayed responses to macroeconomic factors, inadequate investments in networks crucial for renewable energy source (RES) integration, and long procedures governing project development and permits. Panellists engaged in a dialogue on the repercussions of these challenges on project bankability, contemplating the need to redefine project financing fundamentals. Questions surrounding the inclination of bankers towards private arrangements for electricity transactions versus the continued dominance of projects with state support (primarily CfD) remained a focal point of the discussion.
Following a keynote speech by Aleksandar Kesić, CEO of Ameba Consulting, Francesco Corbo, Regional Head Energy EUROPE for WB6 at EBRD, shed light on the multiplied challenges the EU faces in pursuing the Green Agenda, particularly in the Balkans. The EBRD’s unwavering commitment to supporting transitions in the Balkans was highlighted. Srđan Ožegović of Procredit Bank BH and Nenad Radlović, Director of the Sector for Business with Medium and Large Enterprises at NLB Bank, shared insights into projects financed by their institutions, discussing challenges faced in the past and potential future obstacles during the transition from FiT schemes to CfD premiums.
Neda Lazendić, Regional Director at WV International Serbia, emphasized the challenges faced by investors and developers during the financing phase, underlining the significance of community and social participation arrangements. Vladimir Rajić, Managing Director of Integrity Capital, provided insights into investor strategies, highlighting the role of small projects and various self-supply structures in the evolving energy landscape. Aldin Međedović, Project Manager in the Energy and Environment Sector at UNDP BH, shed light on the role of UNDP in supporting initiatives and the requirements for substantial boosts.
Despite the dynamic growth in European renewable energy projects, including 56GW of solar power plants and 17GW of wind farms installed, experts concur that these figures fall short of the EU 2030 climate and energy goals. Notwithstanding numerous initiatives, the region faced challenges, with only around EUR 400 million closed in project financing for renewable energy sources in the first three quarters of 2023, contrasting with the estimated requirement of at least EUR 2 billion annually.
Addressing these challenges through innovative approaches, possibly redefining project financing fundamentals, emerges as a potential solution. The trajectory ahead is expected to unveil whether bankers will increasingly favour private arrangements for electricity transactions or if projects with state support, primarily CfD, will maintain dominance in securing project financing.
Partner refers to Independent Attorney at Law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.