After 44 months of activities, Component 3 “Efficient firewood utilization in households” of the Serbian-German cooperation programme „Development of a Sustainable Bioenergy Market in Serbia “ was completed successfully.

The component was implemented by a team led by E4tech, an international strategic consultancy focused on sustainable energy, with the main objective to improve the efficiency of firewood use in households. An awareness building campaign was implemented in the chosen pilot regions of Leskovac and Vlasotince (“South Serbia Region”) as well as Užice and Bajina Bašta (“South-West Serbia Region”), with the municipalities Ivanjica and Nova Varoš serving as “Control Region” in the impact evaluation of the undertaking. A representative follow-up household survey revealed that in the 2016/17 heating season 22.4% of households in the pilot regions used wood fuels efficiently, up from the baseline value of 1% measured via a comparable survey in 2013/14. This constitutes over-achievement of the target value of 15% that was set at the start of the project.As comparison, in the Control Region that did not benefit from the activities of Component 3, a mere 3.8% of households used wood fuels efficiently in the 2016/17 heating season. Full details of methodology, approach and results can be accessed in the 2017 Household Survey on the Programme website.

In addition to the activities of the awareness building campaign in the pilot regions, Component 3 made strides in improving the quality infrastructure for wood fuels and household wood combustion appliances such as cookers, heaters and boilers by translating relevant EN standards into Serbian language, and by providing testing institutes in Serbia with capacity building measures such as training and study tours.

In support of the general development of the industry in Serbia, the 2017 Market Study was published by the E4tech team. It provides an in-depth overview of the wood fuels and combustion technologies market in the country with key data relating to production and quality aspects and is a result of close relationships the E4tech team fostered with industry.

The project team also engaged with policy makers across several ministries to highlight the critical role of policy in improving the efficiency of the use of wood fuels in households by organising round tables, providing market advice and drafting a technical rule book for wood fuels. These efforts were also supported by RES Foundation, which contributed with additional advocacy in the topic.