/25th April 2014, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ The Western Balkans region has excellent potential to develop solar and wind power projects. Most of this potential is still not utilized. Continuous improvement of Western Balkan countries' existing regulatory frameworks is necessary to enable renewable energy investors to develop and build viable solar and wind projects.

Electricity production in the Western Balkans at the moment is mostly dependent on coal-fired thermal power plants (between 65 and 70 % of the energy generated) and conventional hydropower plants (between 27 to 33 %). The largest power plants in the region were built approximately 30 years ago. Some countries, such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, meet their electricity needs with domestic power sources, while others, especially Albania, import up to 50 % of their energy supply during years with low rainfall. Transmission and distribution losses are extremely high (between 10 % and 35 % per cent) due to ageing infrastructure and theft.

At the 10th Energy Community Ministerial Council held on 18 October 2012 in Budva (Montenegro), the Ministerial Council decided to extend the relevant acquis communautaire in renewables to include the Renewable Energy Directive 2009. Thus, each Contracting Party is obliged to force the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 1 January 2014. For each of the Contracting Parties, the decision also sets out the mandatory national target (for the share of energy from renewable sources in the gross final consumption of energy in 2020). The targets for the share of renewable energy in Contracting Parties in 2020 are the following: Albania 38%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 40%, Croatia 20%, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 28%, Moldova 17%, Montenegro 33%, Serbia 27%, Ukraine 11%, Kosovo 25%.

Solar and wind power capacity in Western Balkans will exhibit an increase in between 2014 and 2018 due to recent changes in RES law and national renewable energy action plan (NREAP) in most of the countries in this region.

More information about Western Balkans solar and wind power markets you may read here: Western Balkans Wind and Photovoltaic (Solar PV) Markets: Outlook 2013÷2018

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