Serbia’s National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) covers seven coal-fired power plants and four gasfired 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. 

Emissions from coal power plants in Serbia far exceeded the 2020 ceilings set out in the NERP. The breach is even higher than in the two previous years, as quite a few of the units’ emissions have increased compared to 2019 and 2018. 

The biggest problem remains SO2 emissions, which were 6.1 times as high as the national ceiling, significantly higher than in 2019 when they were 5.6 times as high. In absolute numbers, the SO2 emissions of the coal-fired plants included in the NERP amounted to 333,602.29 tonnes, while the 2020 ceiling in the NERP for all large combustion plants (including gas ones) is set at a maximum of 54,575.33 tonnes. This is a significant increase from 305,306.90 tonnes in 2019. 

On the plant level, the biggest emitters were Kostolac B, whose SOemissions alone breached the national 2020 ceiling 1.74 times at a soaring 95,096.75 tonnes, followed closely by Nikola Tesla B1 and B2, which emitted 85,765.9 tonnes. 

Dust emissions are within the national ceiling and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in Serbia in 2020 stood at 76 per cent of the ceiling in the NERP. 

The 2020 health burden from Serbia’s non-compliance is 2,326 deaths, 666,939 work days lost, 5.16 billion EUR  

At a glance…


of electricity produced in 2020 was coal-based


tonnes of SO2 emissions in 2020


deaths due to exceedances in 2020

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Power plants in Serbia

Power plants in Serbia