Companies in North Macedonia have asked the government for support due to the energy crisis and proposed nine measures.
The Economic Chamber of North Macedonia sent the request to all state and public institutions in the energy sector including the Ministry of Economy, power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), transmission system operator MEPSO, gas firm National Energy Resources (NER), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the Ministry of the Environment, the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) and power exchange MEMO.
The proposal was adopted at the session of the Board of Directors of the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia, and the Macedonian Energy Association within the chamber, the chamber said.
1. Production and import of electricity by ESM
The organization proposed that ESM should adapt its electricity production to the prices of fuel oil and coal. For example, if the production from the solar facilities is increased ESM should buy it on the market, and import it, and not produce it in its own power plants by using fuel oil and coal.
2. Investments in renewables and the grid
The Ministry of Economy and other authorities should stimulate the construction of different types of renewable power plants, and ensure the equal distribution of the investments across the country and planned upgrade of the distribution grid, in line with the Energy Development Strategy until 2030.
The great expansion of photovoltaic facilities will lead to an energy imbalance, so it is necessary to stimulate the construction of biogas and wind power plants, and to complete the construction of the small hydro power plants that the state has planned, the firms said.
They also stress the need to back the investors and industrial facilities to install batteries to store electricity from renewables. The measures include the facilitation and reduction of procedures and fees, and the lowering of customs rates until they are eliminated, following the example of the European Union.
The construction of the pumped-storage hydropower plant Čebren is of the utmost importance as a solution to store excess electricity from photovoltaics. According to businesses, this is a long-term solution.
5. Firms and electricity procurement
The companies should accept the new circumstances regarding price variations during the day and procure electricity according to their technological process. It means to manage the consumption and production process according to the power exchange prices during the day.
Hydrogen, as the fuel of the future and a way of converting and storing excess electricity, according to firms, should be included in the energy strategy until 2030, during its review. Of note, Viktor Andonov, energy advisor to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, recently said that the document is under review.
7. Guarantees of origin
The firms have asked the state to ensure that the issuing of the internationally verified guarantees of origin. These certificates are requested by business entities that use a significant amount of electricity and, as they see it as an important tool in foreign markets.
Issuing the GOs will also ensure a constant foreign currency inflow for the state, the businesses stressed.
8. Power exchange
The Economic Chamber of North Macedonia welcomes the opening of a domestic electricity exchange by MEMO, but in order to be liquid, it is necessary to make a decision that all state consumers should be on the wholesale market. In other words, they should all procure power on the Macedonian exchange.
9. Natural gas pipelines
At the end the firms urge gas firm National Energy (NER) resources to finish the main gas pipelines, and also to construct the distribution grid throughout the cities.