Electricity

North Macedonia eyes first market coupling with some EU member state in 2026

north macedonia power exchange memo coupling eu brussels shutinoski

Photo: MEMO

Published

April 19, 2024

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Published:

April 19, 2024

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North Macedonia expects to complete the first coupling of its organized electricity market with the market of one of the neighboring European Union member states in late 2026, Simon Shutinoski, chief executive officer of North Macedonia’s National Electricity Market Operator (MEMO) said.

Coupling electricity markets with EU countries is very important for the candidates for EU membership because they are gaining access to the European electricity market, according to Simon Shutinoski, state agency MIA reported.

Together with the representatives of other Western Balkan countries, EU institutions, and the Energy Community Secretariat, he participated in the Electricity Market Integration Forum in the European Parliament in Brussels. They discussed the plan for the integration of power exchanges in the Western Balkans with the EU, which should be prepared by June.

Shutinoski noted that North Macedonia has submitted its data and preparation plans.

MEMO established the country’s power exchange last year by launching a day-ahead market. The next step is to couple the market with a neighboring market, preferably in an EU member country, Shutinoski stressed.

north macedonia power exchange memo coupling eu brussels forum
Photo: MEMO

With the help of the Energy Community Secretariat, North Macedonia signed a memorandum of understanding on market coupling with Bulgaria in 2018, and a similar one last year in Athens with Greece, Albania and Kosovo*.

Working groups to implement the deals have been established, and technical harmonization is underway, Shutinoski said and added that he expects the first coupling to be completed in late 2026.

Of note, North Macedonia has also signed a memorandum with Albania and Bulgaria.

According to Shutinoski, coupling with the European energy market will benefit citizens and the business community by easing access to cross-border transmission capacities and making electricity prices more realistic.

Power exchanges in the region are expanding

In addition, it enables more options to acquire electricity when it is needed the most, Šutinoski stressed.

Of note, until April 2023, only Serbia had a power exchange in the region. Its SEEPEX was launched in February 2016. In April and May 2023, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia kicked off day-ahead markets. ALPEX in Tirana covers Albania and Kosovo*.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only remaining market without an exchange, though it could change soon.

In the meantime, Serbia’s SEEPEX first joined forces with the Slovenian power exchange to establish ADEX, and now the Hungarian HUPX has joined them.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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