Stirrings of serious interest to develop 100 MW in Bosnia

The first wind power project concessions in Republika Srpska, one of two regions making up Bosnia-Herzegovina, should be issued next year, says the region's energy minister, Vladimir Glamocic. So far there have been eight expressions of interest to develop about 100 MW of wind projects in the area. These have come from state power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (EPRS) and two local private companies with backing from Austria, Italy, Croatia and Serbia, says Glamocic. To date, just one wind plant is operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, set up by businessman Ante Andric to serve his factory near Tomislavgrad. He uses about a third of its output and has no offtake agreement in place for the remainder. There is no legislation requiring utilities to take wind generated electricity. According to Andric, he is effectively giving away EUR 7500 a month. Only one further formal planning application to develop a wind project in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been made. Submitted by Austrian company Windkraft Simonsfeld, it is still being examined by the country's concession commission. The company is installing two, 3 MW machines near Mostar, but hopes to increase the development to 60 MW. While Bosnia-Herzegovina still has no law regulating the use of renewables, Glamocic says the delay in issuing wind development concessions is largely because the government's priority is the interest of EPRS. It is waiting for the utility to define its strategy on renewables before acting. He also says research on the country's wind potential has not been conclusive so far, so more detailed measurements are needed to establish whether the planned projects are economically viable.