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Zaev: Power prices must rise due to investments in green energy

Zaev Power prices rise investments green energy

Photo: Government of North Macedonia

Published

May 24, 2021

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Published:

May 24, 2021

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Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev said the costs of installing photovoltaics, wind farms and gas-fueled power plants imply higher electricity bills.

As part of efforts to develop the energy sector, the Government of North Macedonia will establish a renewable energy fund, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Slobodna TV. “We want green energy – the price of electricity will become higher,” he stressed.

Zaev attributed the forthcoming rise in electricity bills to investments in photovoltaics, wind parks and gas-fuelled power plants and said citizens should know that they cost money. Foreign policy, the amendments to the constitution and other activities are directed at achieving a higher economic standard of living, investments, more jobs and options for the citizens, he added.

Investment package worth billions of euros is being prepared, Zaev claims

The government is preparing an investment plan worth “billions of euros” including infrastructure and energy and it wants to talk to the opposition so that the activities can start, Zaev revealed.

The government will try to enable the shutdown of coal plants earlier than planned

“In the pandemic, the most important investment topics are renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy savings and digitalization. So we, like the rest of the world, are focused on that,” the prime minister underscored.

He highlighted the planned cooperation with Greece in a major project for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and said the pipeline would make North Macedonia a transit point for gas, where it may go through Kosovo* and Serbia toward Western Europe.

It will end the current gas supply monopoly and the price of the fuel would go down, but it will also lead to the stabilization of power prices, Zaev asserted.

Climate change is taking its toll

“Serious challenges are coming. Climate change is taking its toll. We must be an integral part of the world,” Zaev stated. He expressed optimism that coal-fired power plants REK Bitola and REK Oslomej would be closed earlier than planned.

Massive protests were organized last year when the Energy Regulatory Commission decided to raise power prices by more than 7%. While nominal tariffs are among the lowest in Europe, North Macedonia’s ratio of power prices and the average salary is among the highest.

* 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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