Macedonia: The economic viability of new capacities for the production of electricity

27. March 2015. / SEE Energy News

Macedonia was historically focused on import of electricity, around 20 percent of domestic demand. Macedonia should be able to export electricity already in 2014.

Macedonia was historically focused on import of electricity, around 20 percent of domestic demand. In terms of installed capacity, Macedonia should be able to export electricity already in 2014 (around 30 percent in the scenario of strong demand growth and 42 per cent in a scenario of low growth in demand).

Nevertheless, over the next decade Macedonia will remain an importer of electricity, unless they built new facilities.

If all existing projects to expand the capacity are implemented, that will increase export capacity by more than 20 percent above the domestic demand (around 2,000 GWh) in a scenario of high consumption in 2024. If the demand level is low, around 45 percent of domestic demand could be exported (4,000 GWh).

This situation could lead to a significant dependence on the export market. The analysis showed that the exporting countries will be competing for export markets in adjacent countries. Strong competition can come from EU Member States, Bulgaria and Romania and in the near future from Turkey and Ukraine as well.

High dependence on export markets suggests the possibility of losing of funds invested in projects. From this point of view, decision-making “produce or purchase” should be accurately considered before entering into new investments.

Losses in transmission and distribution grid in Macedonia amount to around 18 percent. Increasing grid performance may have an impact on security of supply as well on the position of the country without the addition of new production capacities. Energy efficiency measures can lead to energy saving.

The recent Bankwatch report shows that the country does not have good regional connections in the field of energy policies. Existing infrastructure should be viewed from this perspective. Country has significant export ambitions, which can be dangerous if you do not take into account developments in other countries in the region and beyond.

The decision whether to purchase or produce electricity must be strategic and must take into account the consideration of energy security. It can be concluded that the integration and cooperation in the field of energy policy in the Western Balkans is the key factor for Macedonia.

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