North Macedonia leads Western Balkans in green energy capacity for self-consumption

western balkans prosumers self-consumption tracker

Photo: iStock


July 10, 2023






July 10, 2023





The installation of solar panels for self-consumption is taking off in the Western Balkans. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is lagging behind the other five Energy Community contracting parties in the region.

North Macedonia has the largest capacity for self-consumption among the contracting parties in the Western Balkans, 129.7 MW, while Serbia has the highest number of prosumers – 1,499, according to the CBAM Readiness Tracker, published by the Energy Community Secretariat.

Judging by the number of new permits, North Macedonia will improve its result. Serbia is also maintaining its pace.

Compared to a year ago, the capacity for self-consumption is dramatically higher in all contracting parties, jumping from under 1 MW to 282.6 MW. The surge in the number of prosumers was similar: from 911 to 4,872.

The relative increase rates are higher even than in Europe and the rest of the world.

western balkans self-consumption prosumers tracker

According to the report, the main drivers are various support schemes aimed at incentivizing and promoting self-consumption of renewable energy.

Most of the contracting parties limited the generation capacity for self-consumers of renewable energy

Most of the contracting parties imposed limits on the generation capacity for self-consumers of renewable energy to the final customers’ connection capacities, arguing that the stability and reliability of the electricity system must be maintained, the report reads.

western balkans prosumers self-consumption tracker

Net billing to replace net metering

While net metering schemes, allowing households and businesses to offset their electricity consumption with the excess electricity they generate from renewable sources, still prevail, the contracting parties started to move towards the introduction of net billing.

The report’s authors stressed that according to the European Union’s Electricity Directive, any new rights granted under the scheme after December 31, 2026, must distinguish between the electricity fed into the grid and the electricity consumed from the grid.

BiH is trying to get things going

Serbia has a combination of net metering for households and net billing for industries, while Kosovo* and North Macedonia have adopted a net billing scheme for self-consumption.

Regarding BiH, the Republic of Srpska has enabled self-consumption schemes: net metering for households and net billing for companies. However, an unfavorable value-added tax system is hampering the deployment of rooftop solar power panels, so state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske urged the authorities to change the law on the central state level.

In the Federation of BiH, the country’s other entity, consumers are not yet allowed to inject excess electricity into the grid and no progress has been made in enabling it, the report reads.

* 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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