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FYR Macedonia

FYR Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia is a small, landlocked country in Southern Europe, located in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula. Total surface area is 25,713 km2, out of which hills and mountainous terrain cover 79%, plains 19.1%, and water surfaces around 1.9%. Macedonian population has a growing rate with currently 2,066 million residents. The country is bordering with Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania. According to the World Bank data from 2015, GDP per capita is 15,121 US dollars.

Macedonia is a party of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and in 2015 has also signed and ratified in 2017 the Paris Agreement. Macedonia is a EU a candidate country which means that they need to adhere to the EU Climate and Energy Policy.

As a non-Annex I party to the UNFCCC the country needs to focus towards achieving the global objective of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The energy sector generates by far the largest share of GHG emissions, with fossil fuels, primarily coal, accounting for over 80% of total energy demand. In the past several years, the share of fossil fuels has decreased, primarily due to an increase in electricity imports, which have in turn increased import dependence (approximately 50% of electricity consumption). The share of renewable energy in total energy demand has increased from 10% in 2012 to 15% in 2015. Because of the significant use of fossil fuels in the country and the dominant use of domestic lignite for electricity production, there is significant potential for GHG emissions reductions.

The waste sector is the second largest source of GHG emissions in the country. In 2014, approximately 370 kg per capita of communal waste was generated, and 75% of that waste was taken to landfills. The Drisla Landfill in Skopje is the only permitted landfill in the country, and there is a need to improve waste management practices at approximately 54 authorized municipal landfills and to close approximately 320 illegal dumpsites. Only 1.945 t of biological waste was composted in 2014. Mining and processing industries that have closed down operations have abandoned their on-site hazardous waste dumps, and there is little or no information available on the composition or condition of these sites.

The Agriculture sector is an important sector as it contributes with nearly 10% (2016) to GDP and employs more than 17% labor force (2015). Out of the country’s total area of about 2.5 million hectares agricultural land covers approximately 1.13 million hectares. Forests and forest lands cover approximately 1.3 million hectares and are the main sinks of CO2 emissions.

The energy and transport sector

Energy production in Macedonia is mostly based on domestic lignite, imported fuels, hydro potential and wood, and all of them are used for electricity and heat production, and mechanical energy in the transport sector. Electricity production is based on thermal- and hydropower plants. The main energy source used by the energy industries is domestic lignite, followed by residual fuel oil and natural gas. Main part of GHG emissions from this sector are CO2 emissions, representing 97% of the total energy sector emissions. GHG emission in transport sector increased from 1990 to 2012 due to reduced taxation for imported vehicles as well as increased road transport demand. In this period, road transport was responsible for 99% of total emissions from the transport subsector.

Policies and measures in the Energy sector with relatively low or small cost have identified several win-win solutions: renewing the national car fleet, labeling electric appliances and equipment, improving municipal street lighting, increased use of heat pumps, energy management in manufacturing industries, phasing out of incandescent lights, solar thermal collectors, efficient electric motors, reduction of distribution losses, and solar rooftop power plants, wind power plants, retro-fitting existing residential buildings, biofuels use etc.

Mitigation measures in the energy sector:
1. Energy supply

  • Expansion of large hydropower production;
  • Reconstruction of large existing hydropower production plants;
  • Expansion of small hydropower energy production;
  • New thermal power plants powered by natural gas instead of coal;
  • Geothermal, biogas and cogeneration biomass power plants;
  • Expansion of wind energy production;
  • Expansion of solar PV generation and Solar thermal collectors;
  • Expansion of biomass electricity/heat generation capacity;
  • Introduction of CO2 tax and electricity import (market);
  • Reduction in electricity distribution losses;
  • Improvement of the heating distribution network in Skopje.

2. Buildings sector

  • Public awareness campaigns, EE info centres;
  • Introduction of end-use heat metering and consumption-based billing in Skopje’s District Heating network;
  • Building codes and enforcement/certification for new buildings and those undergoing major renovation;
  • Inspections of boilers/air conditioning systems;
  • Retrofits in existing residential buildings/ Demand-side measures for energy efficiency for heating/cooling in existing buildings in the residential sector;
  • Electrical appliance and equipment labelling, and energy performance standards;
  • Phasing out of incandescent light bulbs and resistive heating devices;
  • Wider application of solar collectors;
  • Street lighting efficiency upgrades;
  • Application of renewable energy in public and commercial sector buildings.

3. Transport sector

  • Introduction of biofuels as 10% of fuel mix;
  • Awareness raising campaigns to improve driver behavior;
  • Increased use of bicycles, walking and introduction of parking policy;
  • Increased use of railways and extension of railway to Bulgaria;
  • Improvement/renewal of vehicle fleet;
  • Improving vehicle efficiency, tax exemption for hybrid and electric vehicles;
  • Advancement of vehicle equipment;
  • Car free days.

Industrial sector

The Industry is the main driver of economic development of Macedonian as a rapid industrial development is the core driver of economic growth. In industrial processes and product use (IPPU) sector, the main emission sources are those industrial processes that chemically or physically transform materials. During these processes, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) is produced. The main categories that are responsible for GHG emissions in this sector are the mineral industry, the chemical industry and the metal industry. From these three the metal industry is the main contributor to GHG emissions with dominant emissions from the ferroalloy production, followed by the mineral industry where most of the emissions come from cement production. Only a small amount of emissions comes from the chemical industry sector. The cement industry contributes the most to the overall CO2 emissions from the industrial processes sector as the cement production has increased between 1990-2012.

Mitigation actions in the industry sector:

  • Improvement of process performances
  • Energy management in industry
  • Introduction of efficient electrical motors
  • Waste heat utilization in industry
  • Cogeneration in industry

Agricultural sector

The agriculture sector is an important sector as it provides 10% of Macedonian GDP and provides employment to 17% of the workforce. It is also relatively vulnerable to climate change impacts, particularly flooding. In the agriculture sector, activities related to livestock production emit GHG mainly as a result of enteric fermentation and manure management.

GHG emissions from crop production are the result of inadequate or excessive fertilization with mineral fertilizers, which in the long term causes a serious reduction in organic matter in soils and significant CO2 emissions; infrequent and inadequate application of manure; conversion of land use from extensive agriculture to intensive agriculture; inadequate management of arable land; and improper management when fertilizing.

The GHG in the AFOLU sector are CO2, N2O, and CH4 contributing with 77%, 6% and 17% respectively. The emissions from the AFOLU sector, excluding the sinks from the land, are generally following decreasing trend as the result of the decrease of the livestock population over the year. The emissions from this sector are dominated by carbon dioxide that originate from the land and land use, followed by the emissions from methane mainly from livestock and the manure management (capture, storage, treatment, and utilization of animal manures). The smallest part of emissions is nitrous oxide which mainly comes from the management of soils.

Mitigation actions in the agriculture sector:

  • Increase in organic farming;
  • Livestock management for less GHG-intensive enteric fermentation;
  • Improved crop residues management;
  • Improved sprinkler and drip irrigation;
  • Altering tillage techniques;
  • Improved management of fertilizers;
  • Improved manure management;
  • Production of biogas from farming.

Waste sector

The waste sector is the second largest source of GHG in Macedonia. Main GHG emissions from this sector comes from the solid waste disposal, biological treatment of solid waste, incineration and open burning of waste, and wastewater treatment and discharge. Waste sector emissions mainly include CH4 (methane) emissions (94%). Methane emissions from solid waste disposal site are the biggest source of GHG emissions while emissions from wastewater treatment and discharge are also significant. N2O emissions are the second biggest source of waste sector’s GHG emissions. Incineration and open burning of waste containing fossil carbon, for example plastics, are the most important sources of CO2 emissions in the sector.

Mitigation actions in the waste sector:

  • Closing and covering the existing non-compliant landfills followed by gas extraction and flaring-Mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) in new landfills with composting;
  • Mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) in one new landfill with composting plus production of Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) intended for cement industry;
  • Improvement of Wastewater treatment.

Forestry sector



Sources of information:

  • Third National Communication on Climate Change of the Republic of Macedonia
  • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of the Republic of Macedonia 
  • First and Second Biennial Update report on Climate Change of the Republic of Macedonia