North Macedonia: The country plans to reach 50 % share of RES by 2024

, SEE Energy News

North Macedonia is going to reach 50 % share of renewable energy in total electricity generation by 2024, according to plans of newly elected Government led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi said that the transformation of the energy sector will continue at an even faster pace in order to implement the ambitious plan by 2024 to lift the share of renewables in power generation capacity to 50 %, adding that it will strengthen the country’s energy independence and stability of supply, together with new energy interconnections planned with neighboring countries.

North Macedonia is planning to build solar power plants with an installed capacity of 400 MW, which should generate about 560 GWh of electricity per year, which is roughly 10 % of the country’s total output. In addition, wind farms with installed capacity of 160 MW will be built. Minister Bekteshi announced that the Government will launch another tender for the construction of solar power plants on private land, most likely next spring. He also reiterated that one of the goals in the conversion of thermal power plant Negotino from fuel oil to natural gas.

In May, the Government signed contracts for the construction of solar power plants with combined installed capacity of 21 MW on privately-owned land with 23 investors. The plants, with installed capacity of 1, 2, 5 and 10 MW, will be backed by Government premiums for 15 years after production starts, with the three-year deadline for their construction. The tender for the construction of solar parks on private land was launch last August. For the total offered 27 MW installed capacity, a total of 44 bids were received, of which 11 bids for solar power plants with installed capacity from 0 to 200 kW, from 201-500 kW 10 offers in total, from 501 kW to 1 MW 19 offers and from 1 to 3 MW were received 4 bids. Taking into account the bids submitted for construction of solar power plantson state land, a total of 126 bids from interested investors have been received for a total of 62 MW of installed capacity.

The Government also concluded the tender for the construction of solar power plants with combined output of 25 MW on state-owned land, while power utility ESM is planning to build 100 MW solar power plant on the depleted Oslomej open pit coalmine in private-public partnership.

TPP Negotino is state-operated and currently provides cold reserve service, although it has not been used lately due to extremely high cost of operation, in excess of 130 euros/MWh of produced electricity. For years, there have been speculations whether the plant should be decommissioned or converted to use new type of fuel, but the new Government said that it will launch a tender procedure for the plant’s conversion to natural gas within the next six months.