About the field of action

Wood energy plays an important role as a source of energy for heating and cooking in Serbia. This applies especially to rural areas with no access to  gas distribution network or district heating systems.  Nearly 70% of the wood on the market is used as fuel wood and more than 40% of households are using solid fuels (mostly fuel wood or fuel wood combined with coal). In some municipalities, this share can be as high as 90%. Therefore, it is important to improve the efficiency of fuel wood utilization for heating and cooking in order to avoid depletion of woody biomass resources and, at the same time, to increase disposable income of households using wood as fuel.

This field of action aims to enhance efficient utilization of wood fuels in private households in the selected pilot regions. Our team plans to develop a set of recommendations for end-consumers in order to ensure improved efficiency in use of firewood in households. In addition, measures for introducing more efficient heating/cooking devices will be developed and implemented.


During the course of the project, the team will focus its efforts and resources on three compatible areas of activities with intent to enhance efficient utilization of wood fuels. 

Objectives of activities can be summarized as follows:

  • to promote efficient utilization of wood fuels to different target groups;
  • to contribute to the development of the sustainable market for wood fuels and wood-based heating/cooking technologies, and;
  • to enhance the enabling environment.

Activities which will lead to achievement of intended results can be summarized as follows:

1. Promotion of efficient utilization of wood fuels and wood-based technologies

  • Assessment of the current situation in respect to the utilization of fuel wood in households in selected regions, as well as the efficiency of heating / cooking technologies currently in use;
  • Preparation of recommendations for efficient use of wood fuels based on the assessed gap between the current use and best practices
  • Promotion of efficient utilization of wood fuels through awareness campaign organized in the pilot regions

2. Development of a sustainable market for wood fuels and wood-based heating and cooking technologies

  • Assessment of the market for wood fuels and wood-based heating and cooking technologies including distribution channels and availability of high-quality wood fuels and more efficient technologies
  • Improvement of availability and quality of wood fuels
  • Improvement of availability of more efficient wood-based heating and cooking technologies
  • Improvement of an uptake of more efficient products

3. Enhancement of enabling environment for wood fuels and wood-based heating and cooking technologies

  • Review of existing policies and provision of legal advice with respect to harmonization with the EU regulations in this particular field
  • Provision of support to the Institute for Standardization in translating the relevant EU standards related to biofuels and wood-based heating / cooking technologies
  • Strengthening capacities of selected institutions, so that they can implement recommended changes in the regulative framework and provide adequate advice to end-consumers
  • Improvement of quality infrastructure required for placement of high-quality wood fuels and more efficient wood-based technologies on the local market through technical assistance provided to selected laboratories for testing of wood fuels and wood-based heating / cooking devices

Responsible person:

Sabine Ziem-Milojević
Component leader


A consortium of E4tech and Quiddita is in charge for the project implementation on behalf of the GIZ DKTI programme.
E4tech is a globally operating strategic consultancy focused on sustainable energy with offices in London and Lausanne. Since 1997 E4tech has helped industry, government, investors and others understand the global opportunities and challenges of clean energy. Among other areas, E4tech has in-depth expertise in the bioenergy sector. Their highly experienced staff focus on both conventional and novel bioenergy types, and understanding how policy and sustainability issues can affect bioenergy uptake in different markets. E4tech provides strategy, policy, and technology advice to a wide range of clients worldwide.
Quiddita d.o.o. is a privately owned company founded in 2007 in Belgrade. The company’s business focus is on information technologies, design and engineering.


Successful completion of Component 3

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.