The Republic of Macedonia has been in a state of political turmoil for some time. The most recent general election was held in December 2016, but it is still unclear whether a new government can be formed. Considering the circumstances, the provisional authorities have taken laudable steps to maintain a sense of continuity when it comes to national renewable energy policy. In late January, the Ministry of Economy extended the Programme for partial subsidising of purchased and installed solar thermal collectors in households. “This scheme has been a success since its implementation in 2007 and attracts broad interest,” the country’s economy minister, Driton Kuchi, explained on TV Nova on 7 February. Online news portal Tochkareports that between 2007 and 2016 (see the chart above), the programme supported 4,237 households with a total of Macedonian Denar (MKD) 54 million (around EUR 900,000).
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is one of the candidate countries for the European Union (EU) since 2005. Becoming part of the EU means having to bring Macedonia’s laws into line with the “EU Acquis Communautaire”, the rights and obligations shared by all EU countries. With regard to the energy sector, it means that Macedonia has to adopt the European directives on renewable energy and promote solar thermal energy. The current incentive programme for purchasing and installing solar collector systems in households ended at the beginning of June this year. Macedonia’s Minister of Economy, Valon Saraqini, has already announced that there would be a new governmental subsidy scheme for solar thermal energy starting in September. The programme’s budget may even be partly funded by the EU. Details, however, are still sketchy. The photo shows a residential apartment complex in Skopje with solar installations from the Macedonian collector manufacturer Camel Solar.
Photo: Camel Solar