Investing in a PV power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ali Damadžić,

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is a tendency towards development in the field of renewable energy sources, especially there is large increase in the number of solar power plants. Due to inexperience in this field and incompetence in designing, a large number of solar power plants, conditionally, ended up as an unprofitable investment.

Statistically, in the last few years there is an exponential growth in the number of PV power plants in our country, so the number of PV plants grew from 160 in 2016 to 532 at the end of 2020. This growth in the number of PV plants is significantly encouraged by lower technology prices (PV modules, inverters, etc.) and the existence of FIT system by which producers exercise the right to long-term guaranteed purchase of electricity at incentive prices. Incentives are determined annually, according to various parameters based on the profitability of the investment.

When designing the construction of a PV plant, the basic input parameters such as: horizontal irradiation, usable area for PV plant, efficiency and price of PV modules and inverters greatly affect the profitability of investing in a solar plant. However, other items such as: the frequency of fog at the given location, the existence of industrial dust and smoke, and shading by surrounding objects can reduce electricity production so much that the initial investment is not profitable.

In general, there is a good potential in Bosnia for the production of electricity from RES, including PV panels. According to data collected from PVGIS yearly PV energy production in Bosnia from 1kWp installed power could be anywhere between 1100 up to 1520 kWh depending on exact location and the observed period of data. So correct choice of location can lead to almost 40 % higher electricity production. According to last feed-in-tariff of 0,29 KM/kWh for micro PV plants and average prices of PV project implementation of 1.575,00 KM/kW pay-back period is 3,8 to 4,9 years for on-grid plants.

In our country the law still does not define prosumers (producers – consumers) which is a big problem as it slows down growth of investment decision in the construction PV power plants. Off-grid power plants still represent gray area in the sense of disinterest of investing in a plant which in some periods produce electricity with which it can do nothing. The existence of prosumers would certainly give an extra push in making an investment decision. It is also important to note that Bosnia and Hercegovina has among the lowest electricity prices in Europe, and it is only possible to expect increase in prices, especially for households.

The results of various dynamic analyzes have shown that there are no negative impact by PV plants on the stability of the power system. Also PV plants does not increase the short-circuit currents and positively affects voltage regulation by injection/absorption of reactive power. Compared to the network emission factor in Bosnia of 726 kg CO2/MWh the PV plant of 23 kW installed power could lower CO2 emissions up to 25,25 tons per year.

Investing in PV power plants has a positive impact on the environment, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can be a good investment if the entire process from construction decision, feasibility study, design and construction is performed professionally with detailed site analysis. The declining price of PV equipment and the introduction of prosumers in the electricity market will certainly encourage many participants in the electricity system to invest in PV power plants. The power system must be prepared and expect an increase in distributed generation, especially from PV power plants.