Increasing energy efficiency, i.e. reducing production costs, and promoting energy independence of utility companies are among key objectives of the project Exploitation of different energy sources for green energy production XDEGREE, co-funded by the European Union within IPA Croatia-Serbia Interreg cross-border programme. Apart from the aforementioned objectives, the project also focuses on environmental protection and enhancing the quality of life of people in the region.
Representatives of project partners – the University of Novi Sad, PUC Vodokanal from Sombor, European Affairs Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Vinkovci Water Works and Sewage and the Agricultural Institute from Osijek – have recently met in Sombor to discuss five crucial forthcoming activities:
production of electrical energy in Vinkovci; production of electrical heat energy and biogas production increase in Sombor; construction of a biomass research lab in Osijek; and construction of biogas possibilities and quality research laboratory in Novi Sad.
Vodokanal in Sombor has for some time now been purifying wastewater, using the sludge for biogas production. However, given that the production exceeds their needs, in cooperation with the Agricultural Institute in Osijek Vodokanal will combine the rest of the sludge with the mass of plant origin, which will be produced at the future mobile lab in Osijek. As a result, the company will make electricity savings by producing energy from the mixture of sludge and biomass.
On the other hand, Vinkovci Water Works and Sewage Company has for the past three years been increasing its energy efficiency by producing solar energy thanks to its own 80 kW-solar power station. Building on this experience, the company has put forward the idea to build a brand new 380 kW power plant, i.e. biogas-powered facility, which will be constructed in cooperation with project partners.
This recipe will be useful not only to partners on each side of the border, but also to anybody wishing to increase their energy efficiency and independence. Furthermore, as part of project activities, a study will be conducted to analyse the potential of renewables in the region. The study will serve as a basis for the development of future projects in this field.
The value of the project stands at EUR1,696.336 million, 85% out of which is funded by the European Union. The 30-month project kicked off in July 2017 and will run through January 2020. Project partners are now expected to launch a tender for equipment purchase and construction of facilities and labs.