Gender workshop - UNECE–Global Water Partnership ADA June 23, 2021
Electricity

Power system in North Macedonia suffers due to flood, drought

north macedonia drought flood electricity

Hydropower plant Špilje (photo: ESM)

Published

November 10, 2020

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

November 10, 2020

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

Faced with low water levels in lakes and artificial reservoirs, the Government of North Macedonia and power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) have decided to terminate production in all hydropower plants and to protect the environment and biodiversity.

In order to secure stable power supply, ESM said it has started the procedure to purchase 20.45 GWh of electricity by November 15, Deutsche Welle reported.

North Macedonia’s energy sector is very fragile due to a chain of events in recent months. Most of the impact came from the forces of nature, and could be the result of climate change.

ESM will import 20.45 GWh of electricity

After the flood in Suvodol open-pit mines in August, production in power plant REK Bitola was lowered, which forced a boost in the utilization of hydropower plants. A subsequent drought lowered water levels in reservoirs and lakes. The lack of water for cooling caused a delay in restarting coal power plant REK Oslomej (125 MW), while one unit of REK Bitola, with an installed capacity of 233 MW, is currently in overhaul.

A flood and drought are causing major issues

Furthermore, the consumption of electricity has increased with the start of the heating season.

REK Bitola and REK Oslomej, which have an installed capacity of 825 MW in total, generate about 60% of electricity in the country, while the overall 550 MW in hydropower plants accounts for 35%. At the moment, generation capacities over 900 MW are out of operation in the country.

Government: 2020 is a year with extremely bad hydrological conditions

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Naser Nuredini, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy Arjanit Hodža and the director of ESM Vasko Kovačevski decided to halt hydropower plants.

Any further outflow will endanger the ecological minimum necessary for wildlife

The government said, citing data from the past 15 years, that hydrological conditions are extremely bad this year. Any further outflow in hydropower dams will endanger the ecological minimum necessary for wildlife, it added.

In order to protect the environment and biodiversity and in accordance with obligations stipulated in water permits, it is necessary to temporarily stop the production of electricity from hydropower plants, the government said.

ESM will buy electricity for balancing services until the normalization of water levels, the statement reads.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment

Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Serbian government adopts negotiating position for chapter 15 - energy

Serbian government adopts negotiating position for chapter 15 – energy

09 June 2021 - The document is part of the preparation for the intergovernmental conference on the accession of Serbia to the European Union.

Carbon border tax to be imposed on steel, iron, cement, fertilizers, aluminium, electricity - leaked draft

Carbon border tax to be imposed on steel, iron, cement, fertilizers, aluminium, electricity – leaked draft

07 June 2021 - The European Commission is considering a transitional period of three years for fully implementing CBAM, from 2023 until 2026.

Croatia adopts low-carbon strategy emissions to be reduced 80 percent by 2050

Croatia adopts low-carbon strategy: emissions to be reduced 80% by 2050

03 June 2021 - Climate neutrality is difficult to achieve by 2050 with currently available knowledge and technologies, according to the strategy.

Australia’s court finds government has duty to protect young people from climate crisis

Australia’s court finds government has duty to protect young people from climate change

28 May 2021 - The court has ruled environment minister Sussan Ley has a duty of care to protect Australia’s youth from the climate crisis