In its latest energy strategy, adopted at the beginning of 2020, North Macedonia projects complete coal and lignite phase out latest by 2040. The country has been praised as the first country from the Western Balkans to set such ambitious goals. In spite of its determination to move towards a green future in line with its EU accession process, the country continues struggling with air pollution, waste management issues, and inefficient energy market liberalization. The aim of the policy brief is to address these issues through an analysis of recent developments in energy transition of the country.
In addition, the brief offers solutions through democratization of the process of energy transition and reviews and maps out the potential for citizen energy.
The purpose of this study, divided in two main parts, is to first present an overview of the current energy policies and the progress of North Macedonia towards achieving the aims in the frame of its energy strategy; and secondly, to map out the local initiatives that have the potential of creating their own local energy communities. To map out the potential for creating sustainable energy communities, the study will in its first part provide an overview of the factors affecting the energy sector, the potential for renewable energy production and related policies.
If the region wants to pursue energy transition the issue of energy affordability needs to be carefully addressed. Energy poverty is widespread in the region. The fact that biomass generated energy is the most important source of heatingfor the households, but also of the extreme levels of the air pollution (PM) in the Western Balkans is essential to address in the policy design processes. Network energy share is the share of electricity, natural gas and district heating in
The Western Balkan contracting parties to the Energy Community Treaty are below RES indicative trajectories and are highly likely to fall short of meeting the 2020 RES targets. The methodology for monitoring of the EE saving is less robust and it is more difficult to predict the target attainment. Targets for CO2 reduction by 2030 are not ambitious enough considering its main purpose -combatting the climate change. The largest contracting party has the least ambitious target.
Western Balkans is the home to the most polluting thermal power plants in Europe. Despite the fact that Contracting Parties committed themselves to significantly reduce dust, SO2 and NOx emissions in line with the provisions of the Large Combustion Plants Directive by 31 December 2017, emissions are still huge and larger than prescribed limits. Some of the plants exceeded prescribed limits for SO2 emissions by as much as 15 times.
Contracting parties of the Energy Community from the Western Balkans rely mostly on coal and oil for their primary energy supply. Renewables also take part in the energy mix primarily through traditional use of biomass in inefficient domestic devices followed by large hydro. Modern sources of renewable energy are at an early stage of development.
Energy and carbon intensity of the region is comparatively high both to the EU and the World average values.
Our world is facing one of its greatest challenges: the race to zero (emissions) and climate-neutrality.
Science tells us almost everything we need to know about the rules of this race. Moreover, most countries have read these and signed-up to enter the race years ago, in Paris, in 2015.
The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 countries at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
Its main goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe, bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. The western side of the country is a coastline to the Adriatic Sea, and the southern side has a coastline onto the Ionian Sea. In terms of electricity generation, around 99% of the electricity is generated from hydropower with still less than 1% of primary energy supply from solar power plants. With the ongoing climate change, energy security could become a critical concern in Albania.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on the list of the ten most polluted cities in Europe, five are in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is another unwanted record for the country with the second highest of rankings for air pollution mortality in 2017 in the world, behind North Korea. Between the 2nd and 4th of December, Sarajevo was the most polluted capital in the world, according to data provided by US embassies, that constantly monitor the environmental situation of the cities they are based in. BiH lacks a comprehensive strategy for combating air pollution.