This is one of the best prospect industry sectors for North Macedonia.
Energy market developments in North Macedonia included further construction of an internal gas distribution network, continued liberalization of the electricity market and increased regional cooperation for electricity and gas interconnections. North Macedonia adopted a new Energy Law in June 2018, harmonizing its energy legislation with the EU Energy Community’s Third Energy Package.
The electric power generation capacity in North Macedonia in 2018 mainly consisted of two thermal power plants with a total of 800 MW installed capacity, eight large hydro-power plants with 586.65 MW installed capacity, 96 small hydropower plants with 106,32 MW installed capacity and three CHP plants with 287 MW installed capacity. The two thermal plants produce 70 percent of the country’s total electricity.
The total annual production of electricity in 2018 was 5,447 GWh, which provided 69 percent of the total domestic electricity needs. North Macedonia is a full member of the Union for the Coordination of Production and Transmission of Electricity European Interconnection (UCPTE), which ensures interconnection compatibility with European electric power systems.
North Macedonia’s state-owned power company was unbundled and partially privatized in the 2000s. Austrian utility company EVN has been responsible for electricity distribution since entering the market in 2006. State-owned MEPSO is the country’s electricity transmission system operator. ESM (Elektrani na Severna Makedonija / Powergeneration Plants of North Macedonia; formerly ELEM) is North Macedonia’s state-owned electricity producer.
ESM owns and operates the only wind power capacity, a 36.5 MW wind park in the southern part of the country. It plans to increase capacity to 50 MW and add a separate 14 MW capacity park.
Following the privatization of the electricity distribution system, the government has liberalized part of the electricity generation market. The government is offering limited concessions for investment in small hydro-power facilities.
Renewable energy generation project opportunities, such as investments in electricity generation from wind and solar, and in thermal power generation systems are subject to quotas.
North Macedonia welcomes investments in the energy sector. The government invites companies to design, build, and operate new large and small hydropower plants.
North Macedonia has big plans for hydropower. The Energy Development Strategy recommends a total of 998 MW new hydro capacity to be added until 2040 in all scenarios.
Regarding hydropower, around 80 small hydropower plants have gone online since 2010, and although there have been some breaks, the hydropower boom is very much ongoing with a new tender for 21 locations published in 2019.
The government wants to increase installed solar energy capacity from the current 20 MW to 200 MW. However, it plans to switch from offering a feed-in tariff to a premium tariff, while also offering free land and free connection to the electricity grid. Also, the government intends to introduce a net metering system, allowing households to install solar panels on their residences and produce electricity.
In addition to installing a new 14 MW to the existing wind park, the government plans to increase the country’s wind power capacity to 100 MW by tendering projects to interested private investors.
All these projects will be offered on public tenders upon Governmental decisions.