September 19, 2023

Serbia allows rental of public agricultural land for solar and wind projects

The Decree on Leasing State-Owned Agricultural Land for Non-Agricultural Purposes, adopted by the Government of Serbia, allows local authorities to launch public calls for the lease of land for the installation of renewable energy power plants , but also for the elimination of residues, ash, slag and other dangerous and noxious substances.

The decree applies to land registered in the real estate cadastre of the Geodesic Authority of the Republic and qualified as agricultural land belonging to the State.

State agricultural land can be leased for the construction of solar power plants and wind farms, but also for geological exploration and exploitation of mineral resources (clay, gravel, sand, stone, oil and natural gas) and disposal of residues, ash, slag and other dangerous and noxious substances.

The right to lease land can be granted for a maximum period of 30 years

Regarding disposal, the activity can be carried out with the presentation of the necessary authorizations issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The land can be rented out to natural and legal persons, for a period of up to 30 years, specifies the decree.

The object of the lease is non-cultivated state agricultural land (pastures, reeds and swamps), or cultivated state agricultural lands (fields, meadows, gardens, orchards and vines) of the sixth, seventh and eighth cadastral class.

After the adoption of the new law on renewable energy sources, the leasing of state land for the construction of solar power plants and wind farms could be another step in the right direction: the acceleration of the construction of green power plants . On the other hand, allowing the removal of residues, ash, slag and other hazardous and noxious substances on agricultural land could cause environmental protection problems.

Public calls will be announced by local municipalities

The local municipality must first consolidate the state’s agricultural land for lease into special bidding units, while the interested person or business must submit a letter of intent to lease the land from the Status and project.

The decision to launch a public appeal would be taken by the local authorities, with the agreement of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The rental is carried out within the framework of a public tender procedure, according to the decree.

For renewable energy projects, the initial annual royalty amount is five times the amount of the average rental price per hectare of state farmland. If the land is intended for the exploitation of minerals and the elimination of harmful substances, the initial royalty is thirty times the amount of the average rental price.

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