Serbia Streamlines Rooftop Solar Permitting — No Permitting!

On Monday, I wrote about an uplifting new law in France that will get a lot more solar power installed in the country. Under the article, one of our readers indicated that his country just did better. It was no joke.

First of all, Slobodan Brčin, familiar to any readers who routinely frequent the comments, summarized the brand new Serbian law (also seemingly passed on Monday) better than Google Translate could: “We got even better law few days ago (I posted about it already). According to change made you do not need permits or anything else for that matter. Just buy and install panels and then ask to be connected to grid.”

That’s right — Serbia is foregoing the lengthy, costly permits for rooftop solar panels altogether. If you buy some solar panels, you can have them installed and all is right with the world.

Slobodan provided a few links that I’ll get to in a moment, but his summaries were the best I read. Here’s more: “This is a U turn on regulations from close to impossible administration to zero paperwork.

“My guess is that they think that you have to buy equipment and hire someone to install panels and that all equipment had to be certified in order to be imported in country, and that few companies doing installations know what they are doing.”

So, as you can see, the Serbian government completely flipped on solar permitting, going from absurdly hard to unbeaten ease and convenience. Is the logic Slobodan proposes good? Is rooftop solar ready for hassle-free installation like a stove or fridge? I presume people will be split on this, but I like it.

Here’s more from a Google translation (with slight modification) of one of the intro of one of the articles Slobodan shared: “The Ministry of Mining and Energy announced that the decree on criteria, conditions and manner of calculation of receivables and obligations between buyers-producers and suppliers was adopted at yesterday’s session of the government, it is stated in the announcement of the government.

“As explained, in this way, the procedure by which citizens can become buyers-producers (prosumers) is significantly simplified, because the procurement of solar panels takes place in one step, while previously it was necessary to fulfill a number of administrative procedures, and the procedure took longer than six months.”

Kudos to Serbia for going from seemingly cumbersome, poor solar policies to complete streamlining.

The electricity produced from a solar panel installation in the country goes into the grid (unless you’re off the grid), and gets credited to your account. You get a net balance of the electricity used versus generated on your monthly electricity bill. If you generated more electricity than you used, then the extra electricity rolls over into your new month’s balance.

For a real sideshow here, and mostly just because I’m a massive tennis fan who loves Novak Djokovic, note that Djokovic is about as much of a celebrity as sportsmen get in Serbia, is a deep environmentalist (who has driven a Tesla Model X for years), and is quite political by nature (he is the lead person, or one of the two lead people, who set up a tennis players association that truly represents the players and is trying to give them a much bigger seat at the table). I would probably bet money (if I was a bettiSerbiang person) that Djokovic will become prime minister or president of Serbia at some point later in life. I wonder how much influence he might have today on climate-related policies in the country. Though, he is clearly very focused on winning more majors (commonly referred to as “Grand Slam” titles) than any male player in history and also setting up the Professional Tennis Players Association, so I am probably reaching quite far here — just dreaming. Still, I could imagine him dropping a comment or two to the right people and influencing change.

Aside from a fantasy sideshow, though, I’m sure Slobodan can chime in down in the comments about any more information on this new policy or the Serbian solar market in general that is useful to know. Let him know if you have any questions.


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