NGOs: Lack of political will, intricate procedures hinder renewables in North Macedonia, Serbia

CAN Europe Western balkans study renewables

Photo: Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay


January 23, 2024


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January 23, 2024


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A lack of political will, intricate administrative processes, and insufficient governance planning within the energy sector are all hindering the deployment of renewable sources in both countries, according to a study published by CAN Europe.

By analyzing the political, economic and regulatory frameworks, the Study on the Barriers for Deployment of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in the Western Balkans, with a focus on the cases of North Macedonia and Serbia, offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities faced by two countries in developing key decarbonization strategies relying on an increase in renewables, Climate Action Network said.

Despite its pledge to decarbonize, the energy crisis prompted North Macedonia to stick to its domestic thermal power plants, while hydropower dominates renewable energy projects, according to the study.

The two countries aren’t giving enough support to prosumers, energy communities, vulnerable citizens

The recent increase in photovoltaic (PV) installations is promising, but the country isn’t providing prosumers, energy communities, and vulnerable citizens with sufficient support, the document reads.

The authors stressed that hydropower and wind power projects make up a majority of renewables projects in Serbia, and that prosumer PV capacities have picked up recently. They welcomed the government’s plans to install multiple gigawatts of wind and solar capacities.

However, energy communities, energy-vulnerable citizens, and subsidies for prosumers still suffer from overly complex and lengthy procedures, the study reads.

The study includes a set of policy recommendations

Grid connections and balancing are an issue in both countries.

According to the document, administrative procedures for projects in North Macedonia are complex, with the grid connection procedure taking the longest time. Grid capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of the energy transition, but also not adequately researched, the study underlines.

In Serbia, the lack of grid balancing is a major obstacle, too. To solve it, the government aims to incentivize utility-scale project developers to invest in energy storage, the authors said.

The study, carried out by eclareon and commissioned by CAN Europe, includes a set of policy recommendations aiming at overcoming the barriers and paving the way for a just transition to sustainable, resilient and efficient energy systems in both countries.

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