The transmission and market operators of Bulgaria and North Macedonia have agreed to push forward with the electricity market coupling project which started back in 2018.
A memorandum of understanding on day-ahead market (DAM) coupling was signed by transmission system operators ESO of Bulgaria and MEPSO of North Macedonia, and respective market operators IBEX and MEMO.
The market coupling project started back in 2018
According to a press release from IBEX, the integration of electricity markets is planned for 2022.
The market coupling project between the two neighbouring countries was initiated in 2018, but suffered many delays. The lack of day-ahead markets in the Western Balkans (only Serbia has one) hinders the development of competition in the power sector.
Many market coupling projects are underway in the region, but all are more or less far from completion
Many market coupling projects that envisage the establishment of DAMs are underway in the region including Albania-Kosovo*, Albania-Bulgaria-North Macedonia, Bulgaria-Croatia-Serbia, Hungary-Serbia, but all are more or less far from completion.
Bulgaria and North Macedonia restarted market coupling in September
Coupling between Bulgaria and North Macedonia was restarted in September after the Macedonian Electricity Market Operator (MEMO) was designated as the nominated electricity market operator for the territory of North Macedonia.
By signing the latest memorandum the parties have officially declared their intention to make all necessary efforts for the day-ahead market coupling between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, according to the press release.
The project shall be implemented in accordance with the European target model and the approved common roadmap and in cooperation with Single Day-ahead Coupling (SDAC) bodies.
The EU target model was recently implemented by Greece, which last month launched the day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets – as part of the wholesale electricity market reform.
Non-EU countries make the completion of market integration challenging
The implementation of a single European market is a leading step for the efficient use of resources, being a prerequisite for the successful transition to low-emission electricity generation imposed by the new European policy and the leadership taken in the fight against climate change, the statement reads.
There are many non-EU countries in Southeastern Europe, which makes the completion of market integration in the region challenging.
The project parties strongly believe that the successful market coupling between Bulgaria and North Macedonia is of paramount importance for successful market integration throughout the region.