North Macedonia to become the first Western Balkan country to phase-out coal

, SEE Energy News

The Government of North Macedonia has approved a national Energy Strategy that makes it the first country in the Western Balkans to consider a coal phase-out before 2030.

Two of the Strategy‟s scenarios envisage a coal exit by 2025, with the third delaying the closure of coal-fired thermal power plant Bitola until 2040. A final decision on which pathway to take will be made later in the year.
Lignite has been responsible for around half of the country‟s electricity generation in recent years, contributing to the Western Balkans‟ chronic air pollution problems. The Energy Strategy now plans to significantly increase solar and wind power capacities.
A total of 120 MW of solar capacity is planned on the defunct open-pit lignite mine Oslomej, where an obsolete power plant will soon be closed. The solar plant‟s operators plan to use the same infrastructure and employees as the power plant. 10 MW is already under construction, and a tender has been launched for an additional 100 MW.