The power systems of the Western Balkans are the most polluting in Europe. Their transformation towards renewables has begun to take shape. Yet, the pandemic, together with the war in Ukraine, have made this endeavour more complex. The conviction that domestic lignite is vital for security of supply has resurged given higher commodity prices and inflation.
The six countries of the Western Balkans have committed to fully decarbonising their economies by 2050, enshrined in the 2020 Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda and the recent Decarbonisation Roadmap for the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community. By June 2023, Contracting Parties must submit draft National Energy and Climate Plans.
By showcasing options for fully decarbonising the Western Balkan power system by 2045, this study contributes to the public dialogue on this issue. The pathways presented here show how the countries can minimise costs and maximise security of supply while limiting the role of fossil gas and achieving zero-emission power systems. The study’s goal is to engage policymakers in the region and in the EU by providing robust economic modelling and insights.
To develop the study’s evidence-based scenarios for a net-zero power system by 2045, Agora Energiewende teamed up with enervis energy advisors, RESET from Bosnia and Herzegovina, INDEP from Kosovo and ASOR from Serbia. The takeaway is clear: Coal belongs to the past while fossil gas is not the bridge that will take us towards a decarbonised future. Furthermore, storage technologies are sure to play a vital role in the transition process.
The study “Powering the Future of the Western Balkans with Renewables” is accompanied by two slide decks containing detailed country-level and regional-level modelling results.