Western Balkan EU hopeful countries have made “substantial progress” in preparing their draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) demonstrating a commitment to following the pace of EU Member States who are currently finishing their final versions.
NECPs are plans for the period 2021-2030 that include projections until 2050. This is a European Commission obligation under the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans Package’. The framework was adopted to help the Member States achieve the 2030 energy and climate targets- a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, 32% share of renewables in energy consumption, and a 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency.
These goals were set as a part of helping the EU to reach its long-term goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.
NECPs includes a set of measures that are proposed by each member state. Each countries NECPs have the same composition but different targets. The EU said each country should approach the task ambitiously, setting targets that should correspond to EU levels and requirements.
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia are all a part of the project. Countries should strive for achieving long-term energy and climate targets, reducing administrative burdens, increasing transparency, and promoting security for investors in renewable energy throughout the region.
North Macedonia has prepared its first draft while BiH and Kosovo have “made progress”. Albania is currently preparing its first draft. They are required to complete the draft by October 2020 or the end of the year in the worst-case scenario.
“As for the Western Balkans, regional cooperation remains a key issue and a central element of the Stabilisation and Association Process. The accession process gives strong momentum to political and economic reforms. The aim is to implement market-oriented reforms, regional integration, sustainable development, and investment security. The next step is to incorporate the region into the integrated European market. The integrated energy and climate plan – NECP is the right instrument for this”, Dubravka Bošnjak, ORF-EE Project Manager stated.
Alma Saraci, Senior Expert on Energy Planning at the National Agency for Natural Resources in Albania said that the development of the NECP will provide the basis for achieving goals and targets, as well as effective monitoring.
“It will also help to plan for security of energy supply and energy consumption, which will lead to a reduction in dependence on imports, but also to reduce, inter alia, the environmental impact.”
The NECP preparation process enables countries in the region to speed up the process of transposition of EU acquis relevant to energy and climate.