Serbia’s National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) covers seven coal-fired power plants and four gas–fired plants. Another two coal plants are subject to the limited lifetime derogation (the so-called ‘opt-out’), allowing them to run for a total of 20,000 hours between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023, after which they either need to close or comply with the emission limit values for new plants under the Industrial Emissions Directive.
SO2 emissions from the NERP plants remained a major problem in Serbia, being 4.8 times as high as the national ceiling. They were lower than in 2018-2020 – but nowhere near close to compliance – and increased compared to 2021. In absolute numbers, the SO2 emissions of the 14 coal-fired units included in the NERP amounted to 261,207 tonnes, while the 2022 ceiling in the NERP for 18 large combustion plants is set at a maximum of 54,575 tonnes. The top emitter in Serbia remained, as in 2021, Nikola Tesla B1 and B2 with 73,012 tonnes, up by over 10,000 tonnes compared to the previous year.
Although it is not in the NERP, but rather in the ‘opt-out’ regime, the most staggering increase in SO2 emissions was at the Morava power plant. In 2022, it ran for almost twice as many hours as in 2021, but its SO2 emissions increased four times, up to 33,183 tonnes from 8,174 in the previous year. Had this small plant been part of the NERP, it would have alone accounted for over half of the country’s ceiling.
Dust emissions were within the national ceiling but interrupted their downward trend with a slight increase of 100 tonnes. However, in 2021, Nikola Tesla’s A1-A3 units emitted nearly 1.7 times as much as their ceiling: 1,738 tonnes compared to the ceiling of 1,032 tonnes.
NOx emissions in Serbia continued their downward trend in 2022, but at a much slower pace than in the previous year. In addition, the ceiling also decreased, bringing non-compliance ever closer. Regarding individual units, the worst offender for NOx was Nikola Tesla A4-A6, with absolute emissions of 9,173 tonnes — an increase from 2021, amounting to 1.1 times its individual ceiling.