Macedonia: Perspectives of future energy dependency

24. March 2015. / SEE Energy News

 

The share of coal in Macedonia’s energy mix is around 50 per cent and 75 per cent in electricity production. Macedonia is very sensitive to climate change considering the significant share of agricultural production in the overall economy, underdeveloped infrastructure and high levels of pollution. The energy sector emits three-quarters of the total amount of greenhouse gases.

Macedonia has two thermal power plants – Bitola and Oslomej, and two combined power plants in Skopje and Kogel, both operational since 2012. The government plans to increase their capacity and to open a new coal mine Zivojno, to ensure the supply of TPP Bitola. Macedonia has oil fuel power plant in the place Negotino.

Energy dependence is another key element of energy policy. The country cannot produce enough electricity to meet growing demand (an increase of 18 percent between 2000 and 2010); energy dependence of the country is 32 percent. The plan is to reduce import dependency to two per cent by 2035. Electricity is mainly imported from Serbia and Bulgaria.

The production of electricity in hydroelectric power plants records a downward trend. The government plans to invest in the modernization of existing hydroelectric power plants and construction of new ones. The World Bank estimates that the competition for water between industry, agriculture and domestic consumption will represent a challenge by the year 2020, if the problem of inefficiency is not solved. Thermal power plants are already facing with the problem of water shortages. The gap between water supply and demand will increase by 90 percent by 2020.

The government should focus its investments not only in hydropower, but also in the storage and preservation. With barely developed wind potential, the government is planning future investments worth 100 million euros in small hydroelectric power plants and photovoltaic plants by 2020. The draft of the revised Energy Strategy aims at the goal of eight per cent of final consumption from renewable energy sources.

The second draft of Plan for energy efficiency is awaiting adoption. According to the report of Energy Community, Macedonia has set a less ambitious plan for energy efficiency, 9 instead of 12.2 per cent by 2018. The Government has submitted a detailed program of energy-saving measures in more than 2,000 buildings, with an estimated investment of close to 100 million euros.

The total CO2 emissions in 2012 amounted to nearly five million tons. Macedonia is considering the construction of new coal thermal power plant with a capacity of 0.3 GW. This would mean an additional production of 1,854 GWh of electricity and emission of more than 1.7 million tons of CO2. Application of IED means additional costs of 371 million euros. Reducing losses in the electric power system, created due to outdated infrastructure, could save 54 million euros annually.

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