Electricity

North Macedonia drafts two laws introducing energy storage to market

North Macedonia two laws introducing energy storage to market

Photo: Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Published

December 21, 2023

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Published:

December 21, 2023

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According to the draft Law on Energy, operators of battery energy storage systems will enter the electricity market. North Macedonia published it in a package with the new Law on Renewable Energy Sources, which is set to introduce statistical transfers with other countries as well as energy communities and guarantees of origin.

In the eleven months through November, newly installed renewable electricity generation capacity in North Macedonia jumped 149% from the entire last year, to 379.3 MW. On that note, the Ministry of Economy published drafts of the new version of the Law on Energy alongside the new Law on Renewable Energy Sources, inviting interested individuals, entities and institutions to submit comments.

Namely, the surge in solar power capacity enabled the return of the lower electricity tariff for households during the day, as of December 1. On the other hand, the move highlighted the need to store excess output and use it at times when demand surpasses domestic supply.

Therefore, one of the most important segments is the definition of energy storage operators and their facilities and the broader legal framework for the new sector. It includes natural gas and even liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Public debates are scheduled for January 10 and January 9, respectively. The two laws are intended to harmonize national legislation with the European Union’s Clean Energy Package.

Electricity storage system operators won’t be allowed to draw power from grid

Operators of electricity storage facilities are getting the right to buy and sell electricity. They will only be able to draw electricity from power plants and not from the network. Operators of existing photovoltaic units won’t be obligated to add batteries, the draft Law on Energy shows.

Companies from Croatia and Italy have lately shown interest in building standalone battery energy storage systems

The national transmission and distribution system operators in North Macedonia wouldn’t be allowed to build battery stations for commercial purposes unless no other entity is interested. Companies from Croatia and Italy have lately shown interest in building standalone battery energy storage systems (BESS), Bloomberg Adria reported.

The draft Law on Energy, the first new version after five years, stipulates that the status of a strategic project, eligible for state aid, can be declared for high-voltage power lines, energy storage, key equipment and safety and digitalization systems, smart grids, investments in fossil gas and hydrogen facilities as well as in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and processing, oil pipelines and storage.

Prosumers, energy communities are defined as active consumers

As for the proposed Law on Renewable Energy Sources, its authors said they aimed to simplify permitting and other administrative obligations.

The power plant registry is envisaged to exclude installations of 2 kW and smaller. According to new rules, the Ministry of Economy will need to issue indicative annual plans for tenders to select facilities that would receive operative support.

Rushing to transpose the European Union’s legislation, North Macedonia is also looking to introduce guarantees of origin of electricity as well as to allow statistical transfers of renewable energy shares with EU member states and Energy Community contracting parties. Notably, a section of the law is dedicated to active consumers (known elsewhere as active buyers), of which prosumers (formally consumers-producers) were already present.

The other category are communities or cooperatives of users of renewable energy sources (renewable energy communities and cooperatives). Interestingly, the Law on Renewable Energy Sources will begin to be implemented six months after coming into force, according to the draft.

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