Renewables

North Macedonia posts 160% growth in 2023 in new renewables capacity

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Photo: Chevanon on Freepik

Published

January 29, 2024

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Published:

January 29, 2024

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Renewable electricity capacity in North Macedonia increased by 551.2 MW over the last two years, of which 399 MW in 2023 or two and a half times more than the year before.

North Macedonia is maintaining the top spot among Western Balkan countries in the energy transition. The investment wave was spurred by a combination of legal reforms and the photovoltaic projects of state-owned power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM).

The Energy, Water Services and Municipal Waste Management Services Regulatory Commission (RKE) said it issued licenses last year for almost 399 MW in total for the production of electricity from renewable sources. The level was 162% higher than for the capacity installed in 2022.

“We registered a fascinating growth of 160% in newly installed electricity production capacity in just one year. RKE’s combined data indicates that the energy transition was taking place every day, namely every workday we have another 1.5 MW included in the electric power system of our country. With this pace of new electricity production capacities from renewable sources, energy independence has been significantly strengthened, that is, power imports have decreased by one third”, RKE President Marko Bislimoski said.

North Macedonia’s renewable electricity additions are equivalent to 1.5 MW per workday

The regulatory body estimated that the facilities installed over the past two years, comprising 551.2 MW, are capable of generating enough electricity to supply 175,500 households.

On the other hand, investments are hampered by a still complex administrative process, especially for grid connection, while the electricity network capacity is insufficient, according to a recent report. Its authors said prosumers, energy communities, and vulnerable citizens lack support.

Unrelenting support for investments in energy can impact biodiversity and food production.

Moreover, the attempt to build pumped storage hydropower plant Čebren has failed for the 14th time.

In cooperation with international financing institutions and development banks, the government is preparing a EUR 3 billion investment plan for a coal phaseout by 2030 and a just transition for the country’s coal regions.

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