North Macedonia: Coal phase-out deadline set for 2028

, SEE Energy News

North Macedonia has announced that it will close all of its coal-fired thermal power plants by 2028. North Macedonia is the first country in the Western Balkans to decide to stop using coal for electricity generation.

At the moment, North Macedonia produces about a half of its electricity production from coal-fired power plants, which is enough to cover about a third of the country’s consumption. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the Government plans to close coal-fired power plants by 2028. In order to compensate for the lack of electricity generation capacities in the country, around 2,200 MW renewable energy capacity will be built in the meantime. As the prime minister stressed, this will be part of Macedonia’s green deal and its transition to renewable energy sources. The country plans to build 1,600 MW in solar power plants and 600 MW in wind farm.

Currently, coal-fired TPP Bitola and TPP Oslomej are still in operation. According to the plan, by 2026 one unit of TPP Bitola will be replaced by a solar power plant, and in 2024, the second unit will be replaced by a natural gas-fired unit, which will also produce thermal energy for the needs of distict heating systems. The remaining two units (one at TPP Bitola and TPP Oslomej) will be modernized by 2023, with the reconstruction of the electrostatic filters, while the installation of desulfurization facilities will be achieved by 2026.