Bosnia’s first wind farm opened yesterday and began generating electricity as part of the country’s broader efforts to transition towards renewables.
Currently, the country generates some 60% of its energy from coal-fired power plants, and the rest from hydro-power. With the opening of Bosnia’s first wind farm, the country hopes to increase the share of its energy that comes from renewables to 43% by the year 2020.
The facility has been under construction for some 13 years, and was overseen by Bosnia’s state-run utility company, Elektroprivreda. It cost a total of €82m and was financed through a loan by Germany’s state owned development bank, KfW.
The new wind farm consists of 22 wind turbines and has the capacity to generate some 165 GWh per year. This represents enough energy to supply some 27,500 households.
How will Bosnia’s first wind farm improve the country’s capacity?
The new facility is expected to boost Elektroprivreda’s output by around 10%. The majority state-owned utility currently operates seven hydro-power plants alongside the new wind farm, which currently have a total combined capacity of 860 MW.
However, dry weather conditions in Bosnia have led to lowered water levels, meaning far less energy was generated from hydro-power. In light of this, the country has been increasingly reliant on imports to meet demand. The new wind farm entered into operation this week to try to address this shortfall in supply.
What are the next steps for renewables in Bosnia?
Marinko Gilja, the general manager of Elektroprivreda HSHB, said that Bosnia hopes to catalyse significant further investment in renewables if the wind farm proves successful: “We hope that this project, which has a safe future on the energy market, will encourage new investment in renewable sources”.
Building on the success of the wind farm project, external developers are seeking to add around 500 MW of additional wind capacity in Bosnia over the next few years. Currently, four have been issued permits to expand wind capacity in the country.