The Government of North Macedonia has adopted its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). It is the first Energy Community contracting party to produce the document.
The National Energy and Climate Plan covers the period from 2021 to 2030 and prescribes the path to achieve the goals set for 2030, the government said.
North Macedonia was the first Energy Community contracting party to submit its draft NECP to the organization’s secretariat. Only Albania also submitted its draft, while the remaining Western Balkan countries – BiH, Kosovo*, Montenegro, and Serbia – are lagging behind.
Secretariat Director Artur Lorkowski congratulated the government for setting a clear energy transition pathway by adopting the NECP. It reflects the country’s dedication to decarbonization and transformation of its economy and energy system to face the new challenges of the 21st century, he said.
The Energy Community Secretariat promises to help the country advance a socially acceptable energy transition
The secretariat will be a strong partner for North Macedonia to advance a socially acceptable energy transition, aligned with the ambitions of the European Green Deal, he added after the meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of North Macedonia Fatmir Bytyqi.
The two officials agreed to step up cooperation to accelerate the just energy transition.
NECP covers the five most important dimensions of the European Energy Union: decarbonization (with two segments: greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy sources), energy efficiency, security in energy supply, the regulation of the internal energy market, and research, innovation and competitiveness in the sectors of energy and climate change.
The country has set targets for all five dimensions.
Decarbonization – coal power plants to be closed by 2027
Regarding decarbonization, the country intends to decrease the GHG emissions by 82% compared to 1992. In order to achieve it it plans to promote the transition of the energy sector to low carbon technologies.
Key goals include a plan for gradual closure of North Macedonia’s only coal-fired power plants TPP Oslomej and TPP Bitola by 2027, and the acceleration of the use of renewable sources for electricity production in combination with energy efficiency measures in all sectors, the NECP reads.
A CO2 tax will be introduced
The introduction of a CO2 tax will accelerate the phasing out of conventional fuels, while stimulating renewables’ investment and the implementation of energy efficiency measures.
The country will continue to support renewables with feed-in tariffs and auctions, according to the plan.
The target for the share of renewables in final energy consumption is 38% with the following goals: 66% share in gross electricity production, 45% in heating and cooling gross consumption, and 10% in final energy consumption in transport.
Energy efficiency – North Macedonia aims to cut consumption by 20.8 to 34.5%
The projection shows that by 2040 the consumption of primary and final energy should increase by 38% and 55%, respectively, from the 2017 levels, as a result of continuous economic growth.
Given that the country has limited potential for lignite and biomass as the dominant domestic resources currently in use, the aim is to pay special attention to energy efficiency, the plan reads.
NECP envisages a number of policies and measures in order to reduce energy consumption in buildings (households, commercial and public buildings), the industry and transport sectors and to reduce losses in the transmission and distribution grids.
The document plans savings of 20.8% for the consumption of final energy and 34.5% for primary energy compared to the business-as-usual scenario.
Energy security – keeping the current level of imports
The country intends to lower its energy dependence from 60% to 59% by 2030.
The plan is to become less dependent on energy imports with greater use of renewable sources and energy efficiency, but also to diversify supply sources through the use of natural gas, mainly in the industrial sector.
The foreseen measures include increasing the number of prosumers, the creation of a system of guarantees of origin, construction of hydropower plants (including pumped storage units), and gas power plants (including combined heat and power technology).
Internal energy market – new interconnectors with Greece, Kosovo*, Serbia
North Macedonia plans to establish a day-ahead market to merge it with Bulgaria’s IBEX and to participate in initiatives for establishing a regional market.
The country intends to diversify supply routes with the planned natural gas interconnection with Greece, and interconnections with Kosovo* and Serbia. It will also encourage the installation of solar thermal collectors for hot water, especially for vulnerable consumers.
The level of demand response will be increased together with the introduction of real-time electricity price signals to encourage consumers to participate in balancing and boost the storage capacity. The NECP envisages the preparation of an annual program for vulnerable consumers to ensure their protection from price shocks.