On 12 December 2019, EU heads of state and government endorsed the objective of achieving a climate-neutral European Union by 2050. To this end, Europe will significantly step-up action to further accelerate its clean energy transition. The European Commission explicitly wants to engage the Western Balkan countries in the political momentum created under the rubric of a “European Green Deal”.
Clearly, countries of the Western Balkans require support to move towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy. Multiple actions are required to decarbonise energy systems in the region a cost-effective and socially acceptable way, while ensuring power system adequacy and continued security of energy supply.
In this Policy Brief, Janez Kopač and Dirk Buschle (Energy Community Secretariat) together with Matthias Buck, Christian Redl and Sonja Risteska (Agora Energiewende) lay out concrete actions to advance the clean energy transition in the Western Balkan countries. In the view of the authors, the proposed actions constitute no-regret measures under all circumstances and can usefully be grouped into six elements: 1) Commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (2) Measures to increase energy efficiency, (3) Frameworks for rapidly scaling renewable energy, (4) Measures for improving energy markets, (5) A just transition framework, and (6) Education and innovation programmes.