North Macedonia leads Western Balkans in green energy capacity for self-consumption

by Cristian Florescu

The Western Balkans are experiencing a significant increase in the installation of solar panels for self-consumption. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently falling behind the other five Energy Community contracting parties in the region

According to the CBAM Readiness Tracker, published by the Energy Community Secretariat, it has been found that North Macedonia possesses the largest capacity for self-consumption among the contracting parties in the Western Balkans, amounting to 129.7 MW. In addition, Serbia stands out with the highest number of prosumers, totalling 1,499.

Based on the increase in new permits, North Macedonia is expected to see an improvement in its result. Similarly, Serbia is continuing to maintain its pace.

Compared to a year ago, there has been a significant increase in the capacity for self-consumption among all contracting parties, with a rise from under 1 MW to 282.6 MW. Similarly, the number of prosumers has also experienced substantial growth, increasing from 911 to 4,872.

The relative increase rates are even higher than those in Europe and the rest of the world.

According to the report, the main drivers consist of a range of support schemes that aim to encourage and promote the self-consumption of renewable energy.

The majority of the contracting parties set restrictions on the generation capacity for self-consumers of renewable energy based on the final customers’ connection capacities. This decision was made to ensure the electricity system’s stability and reliability, as mentioned in the report.

Although net metering schemes, which allow households and businesses to offset their electricity consumption with the excess electricity they generate from renewable sources, are still widely used, the contracting parties have begun to consider the implementation of net billing.

The authors of the report emphasized the importance of adhering to the European Union’s Electricity Directive, which states that any additional privileges granted under the scheme after December 31, 2026, should differentiate between the electricity supplied to the grid and the electricity utilized from the grid.

Serbia has implemented a combination of net metering for households and net billing for industries, whereas Kosovo* and North Macedonia have opted for a net billing scheme for self-consumption.

About BiH, the Republic of Srpska has implemented self-consumption schemes, such as net metering for households and net billing for companies. Unfortunately, the progress of installing rooftop solar panels is hindered by an unfavourable value-added tax system. As a result, Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske, the state-owned power utility, kindly urges the authorities to consider revising the law at the central state level.

According to the report, in the Federation of BiH, the country’s other entity, there is currently no permission for consumers to inject excess electricity into the grid, and unfortunately, no progress has been made towards enabling this.

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