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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Advanced decentralised energy generation systems in Western Balkans

Final Report Summary - ADEG (Advanced Decentralised Energy Generation Systems in Western Balkans)

The aim of the project was to formulate promising solutions for decentralised systems in the area of Western Balkans based on the utilisation of renewable energy sources and hybrid systems. The project's objectives were:
- to map the potential for renewable energy sources exploitation in decentralised energy generation in Western Balkans;
- to create a standard modelling procedure for decentralised system selection allowing the identification of best possible solution in a given area;
- to identify specific concepts for DEG in the examined countries and their integration into multi-technology systems for the achievement of stable and high efficiency power production;
- to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of renewable energy and hybrid stand alone power supply in decentralised areas in the Western Balkans and to improve their environmental performance.

The work was focused on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro, while Albania and FYROM were included in RES potential assessment. The technological concepts which were examined within the project deals with biomass utilisation and biomass gasification, solar energy, wind energy, co-generation technologies, small hydro plants, as well as H2 production and fuel cell applications. In addition, hybrid systems of the technologies examined where also assessed.

The work was divided in five work packages (WPs). In WP1, the renewable energy sources potential were examined in terms of availability and specific characteristics of each type. In WP2, technological concepts were investigated for the identification of prospects and barriers of each technology according to the local particularities. Moreover, experimental work involves biomass combustion, co-combustion and gasification was carried out. The WP3 was related to the identification of the most promising configurations for the advanced utilisation of renewable energy in decentralised systems aiming to the efficiency increase of the system for power production and hydrogen as energy carrier and the establishment of reliable and low cost energy generation for stand alone grids and applications with advanced security of supply. In WP4, the most promising concepts were optimised based on the detailed characteristics of selected areas and the relevant economic and environmental aspects would be assessed. Finally, WP 5 was devoted to management and dissemination activities.

The work related to the identification of DEG systems potential in Western Balkans (WB), was performed based on selection of information required, collection of data based on a formed questionnaire and evaluation of findings.

Technologies examined were related to biomass utilisation and biomass gasification, solar energy, wind energy, co-generation, small hydro plants, H2 production and fuel cell applications, as well as hybrid systems. Information was gathered through an extensive survey and data were processed in a homogeneous manner for all technologies.

Experimental work was also performed regarding biomass gasification. The biomass used was selected among the available biomass types in the WB region as the most promising option in terms of availability and with high utilisation potential.

Various scenarios that were calculated included direct energy consumption and indirect energy storage and all calculations were based on a H2RES computer model that was developed within RENEWISLANDS project. The H2RES model which was designed for balancing between hourly time series of water, electricity and hydrogen demand, appropriate storages and supply, was expended including calculations of grid connection with links to power system (electricity import / export), heat demand and biomass energy supply.

Work was conducted also on the identification of opportunities and barriers of DEG technological schemes for Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro, based on the advanced utilisation of renewable energy sources. Barriers of technologies were also examined. The most promising options for further development of DEG systems were identified and future projects were determined as well as possible political supporting schemes.

Primary legislation was developed dealing with the establishment of electricity regulatory bodies and the formulation of internal market.

Concerning the biomass utilisation for heat production facilities under 1 MW the applied technologies were dealing with conventional combustion as well as gasification processes. Biomass co-firing was also available for different types of application.

Agricultural biomass waste could play a significant role for biomass utilisation, which has a high potential. Biomass combustion was a quite developed option in the WB region. There are commercialised concepts incorporating gasification but manufacturers are mainly involved in boilers and stoves. Biomass gasification could be a viable solution depending on the subsidies related to its market penetration.

In relation to wind utilisation local companies, representatives of EU manufacturers were active in the WB region. The lack of financial supporting measures was the main barriers for the penetration of wind energy production schemes in the WB region.

Photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies were available to the WB area and there were companies active in the field of solar & PV manufacturing and system design services. A future option for the field development for decentralised schemes was related to the coverage of building energy needs.

Small-scale hydropower was also an option. Especially for Serbia and Montenegro, where the most of potential locations were suitable for 400-600 kW and 1.5-4.5 MW units in mostly grid-connected schemes but also stand-alone systems.

The impact of decentralised electric power generation on the grid in the WB was analysed in global and local perspectives. In the first perspective, the analysed scenarios of WB extra-high voltage transmission system, demonstrated that under the given boundary conditions a high penetration of decentralised power generation does not affect a stable transmission system operation. In local perspective analysis of the WB distribution systems on high and medium-high voltage level, the analysed case studies demonstrated that under the given boundary conditions a high penetration of decentralised power generation can affect the stability of distribution system operation.

The most promising configurations for the advanced utilisation of renewable energy in decentralised systems in the Western Balkans have been identified trough analysis of different cases. Four case studies were assessed for selected rural region or industrial / agricultural complex in each WB country whose organizations participate in the project. Each case was represented with different scenarios of possible future development. Scenarios that were calculated include direct energy consumption and indirect energy storage and all calculations were based on a H2RES computer model. The security of supply and fulfilment of demand side requirements, the stability of the grid was calculated by POSIM model, which was expanded to WB transmission networks.