Macedonia: RES electricity production high in 2015, wind and hydro

, SEE Energy News

According to the annual report of the Energy Regulatory Commission (REK) for 2015, the production of electricity from renewable sources in Macedonia increased three times.

In the past few years, Macedonia has reported continuous growth of electricity production from renewable energy sources. According to the report, in 2015 there were 58 small hydropower plants, 101 photovoltaic power plant, two biogas power plants and Bogdanci wind farm in operation in the country.

As of 31 December 2015, the operator of the electricity market MEPSO has signed 162 contracts for the purchase of electricity at preferential prices. Last year, the production of electricity at power plants which acquired the status of privileged producers from renewable sources amounted to 263.6 million kWh. This is almost three times higher than in 2014, when the production of privileged producers reached 81.9 million kWh. In 2013 this production amounted to 38.4 million kWh, in 2012 18.1 million kWh, while in 2011 it stood at 9.6 million kWh.

According to the projected energy balance for this year, it is expected that around 16 % of total electricity production will be supplied by small hydropower plants, solar power plants, wind farms and biomass/biogas power plants.

The total installed capacity of 58 small hydropower plants which operate as privileged producers reached 57.95 MW at the end of 2015, while the additional 33 small hydropower plants with total power output of 27.76 MW are currently under construction and should be operational by the end of 2017. The total installed capacity of 101 photovoltaic power plants amounts to 16.66 MW. Power output of the country’s sole wind farm Bogdanci currently amounts to 36.8 MW, but it is planned that the output should be increased by additional 13.2 MW.

Macedonia is one of the few countries in the region which produces electricity from biogas. Power output of the two operational biogas power plants amounts to 3.99 MW, while another one 3 MW biogas power plant is currently under construction, transmits