The energy system of Serbia is largely based on carbon (60%). Extraction of this source is approx. 39 million tons per year. Lignite is extracted mostly in opencast mines, located in two basins: Kolubara and Kostolac. An important region is also Kosovo, * which has more than 10 billion tons of coal reserves. The total output of all power plants in Serbia, which are owned by the state company EPS (Elektroprivreda Srbije), is 7,124 MW. 3, 948 MW is from lignite-fired plants.
Since 2005, Serbia has been a member of the Energy Community **.
* Kosovo in 2008 declared its independence; Kosovo’s independence is not recognized by the Serbian authorities and many residents; however, by 2014, it was considered independent by 105 countries – Wikipedia
** Energy Community – a community established between the European Union and East European and South-East European countries in order to extend the EU energy market. Members of the Energy Community are: the European Union, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine. In 2005 in Athens, all the members signed the Treaty (which entered into force in 2006) to implement the relevant EU energy acquis communautaire, to develop an adequate regulatory framework and to liberalise their energy markets in line with the acquis under the Treaty. Countries are committed to developing relations with neighboring countries, to improving energy efficiency, renewable energy, and to increasing competition in the network of energy markets – Wikipedia
Opencast lignite mines and power plants
In Sebia, lignite is extracted by Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) in two basins: Kolubara and Kostolac. In 2010, they extracted 37 million tons of lignite and this number has remained at a similar level for a long time.
The largest lignite mining region – the Kolubara Basin- has reserves estimated at 2.2 billion tons. It is one of the biggest deposits in Europe with an annual production of around 22.6 million tons of lignite.
The Kolubara Basin consists of four opencast mines:
- Plant B
- Plant D
- Vieliki Crljeni
- Tamnava West
In 2011, the Kolubara Basin achieved a record level of coal production of about 31 million tons. The Tamnava West opencast mine extracted 13 million tons of lignite. All four mines supply coal to the Kolubara, Nicola Tesla, and Morava power plants.
In the second, smaller Kostolac Basin, lignite is extracted from only one Drmno opencast mine and burnt in the Kostolac thermal power plant. In 2009, production ended in the Ćirikowac opencast mine.
The total output of all power plants in Serbia, which are owned by EPS, is 7,124 MW – 3,948 MW is from lignite-fired power plants. At the end of the last century, the total output amounted to 8,355 MW, but in 1999, the EPS withdrew its business from the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 2008, those provinces declared independence. Therefore, Serbian production capacity in lignite-fired power plants decreased to 3, 948 MW. Nowadays, their share in total electricity production is less than 60%.