The Carbon Tax as a stimulation for a faster energy transformation

The ecological taxes are one of the most efficient ways to fight climate change and a measure of stimulation for low-carbon development. In North Macedonia, the greatest source of greenhouse gases is the energy sector, through thermal power stations that use coal. This also includes transportation and heating with fossil fuels such as oil, petroleum jelly, or coal. Both abroad and domestically, apart from the energetics, some industrial branches are also great sources of carbon dioxide, starting from major industrial plants, such as cement plants orfoundries, to agricultural greenhouses, which also often use fossil fuel for heating.

The introduction of the Carbon Tax will mean opening new possibilities for investments in renewable sources that are very necessary, says Elena Nikolovska from the Eko Svest organization. It’s about securing financial assets not only for renewable sources but also for innovations towards the application of best practices and available technologies in the direction of low carbon development.

“Even though it was mentioned as a possibility in the Energy Development Strategy and was envisioned as a measure in the National Energetics and Climate Plan, the process for introduction of the Carbon Tax hasn’t started yet. This means there is no legal framework for this instrument and it is still not known what shape it will be introduced in. Regardless of the scenario we will choose, the Carbon Tax measure is necessary for securing a sustainable mechanism for financing this transformation. This is necessary in order to meet the goal set by the Energy Community and the EU. The quicker we introduce it, the quicker we shall go towards meeting those goals,” Nikolovska says.

This tax has been introduced in a number of countries in Europe and worldwide and is paid by the producers of products that are linked to carbon dioxide emissions, but also by the buyers of those products. It is estimated that the most developed countries emit around 40% of those emissions and during 2017 in the European Union, around 370 billion EUR were collected as ecology taxes. The result of that is lowering the emission of carbon dioxide by 22% during the period between 1990 and 2017.

The Ministry of Environment said that they are still analyzing what the introduction of the Carbon Tax would mean for the stationary sources of the emissions and the ways how it will be determined domestically.

“The carbon tax is analyzed from an angle of the potential for decreasing the emission of greenhouse gasses. The analysis will show when the Carbon Tax will be introduced and its ammounts, which on the other hand will depend on to what degree it will burden the production capacities in North Macedonia. The Energy strategy has shown if the height of the carbon tax is above 35 EUR per ton, it will mean closing or lowering the work intensity of the Thermal Power Plant in Bitola. On the other hand, even without the introduction of the carbon tax, there isn’t any economic justification for Oslomej plant to continue working” said the ministry.


ABB creates state-of-the-art solution for CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient factory of the future

ABB has an extensive portfolio of eco-efficient solutions and services that can help decouple economic growth from environmental impacts. In fact, over half of ABB’s worldwide revenues are generated by technologies that combat the causes of climate change. The company’s goal is to increase this contribution from 57 percent in 2018 to 60 percent by 2020.

The company’s commitment to combatting climate change includes limiting the environmental impact of its own operations. ABB’s current target for climate action is to reduce its own GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from a 2013 baseline.

At its site in Lüdenscheid, Germany, ABB shows how a sustainable energy transition can succeed with digital energy management. After a two-year design and construction phase, as part of its “Mission to Zero” project, ABB has opened its first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient production site in the world, with the commissioning of a solar power plant at a factory of its subsidiary Busch-Jaeger. ABB technology will generate enough power from the solar plant to cover, on sunny days, 100 percent of the factory’s power requirements. The flagship site will save about 630 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The full energy cycle of the factory has been created with ABB’s industry-leading energy-efficient components so that the entire system can run with significantly less power.  A large part of the energy that is needed is created with a sustainable solar power plant and an extremely energy-efficient cogeneration plant.

Measuring 3,500 square meters and installed over the car parks on the company premises, the photovoltaic system will deliver around 1,100 MWh of climate-neutral solar power a year – approximately the annual requirement of 340 private households. In combination with a cogeneration plant, which operates with double the energy efficiency of a coal-fired power plant, around 14 percent more energy can be generated than is needed at the site. The surplus power is fed into the public grid, contributing to the region’s power supply with sustainably produced energy. To cover peaks in demand, additional green energy is sourced from MVV Energie AG, which guarantees 100 percent CO2-neutral production.

“The photovoltaic system is part of an integrated solution that covers all aspects of energy production and distribution, making it possible to generate enough power to cover on sunny days 100 percent of its power requirements,” says Tarak Mehta, President of the Electrification business at ABB. “With this state-of-the-art site, we demonstrate the advantages of creating a system in which all components are digitally networked and controllable. This intelligent ecosystem enhances energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation, enabling a genuine zero emission future for industry and beyond.”

The technical centerpiece of the entire system in Lüdenscheid is the scalable energy management system OPTIMAX® from the ABB Ability Energy Management Suite. ABB Ability™ is the company’s innovative offering of digital solutions and services across all business areas that bring new levels of flexibility, efficiency and performance. The OPTIMAX® digital solution provides a continuous and transparent view of energy consumption. It allows real-time monitoring and optimization of energy use, as well as the integration of distributed generation and flexible consumption and storage, and operates largely autonomously. This learning system calculates the optimum energy flow on the basis of predictive data and compensates for deviations in real time, helping companies to reduce energy costs and emissions.

Aside from the energy management system and the photovoltaic system with inverters, the entire system at the factory brings together other ABB technologies that are digitally interconnected. For example, a battery energy storage system (BESS) with an output of 200 kW and a capacity of 275 kWh is responsible for energy storage. In addition, ABB charging points, where staff and visitors can charge their electric vehicles free of charge, provide for an additional improvement in the regional eco-balance. This single-source energy management solution is rounded off by smart switchgear for energy distribution. 

More information on the project can be found here

ABB’s contributions to climate goals are widely acknowledged and were recognized in 2018 by “Fortune” magazine, which named ABB as one of the top 10 companies that are changing the world.




Promote measures to reduce CO2 emissions in the region

  • As a result of the directions contained in the Joint policy paper for Low-Energy Economy in the cross-border region, which was prepared and adopted by the involved stakeholders in the final phase of the Project Joint Integrated Policy for Low-Carbon Economy  in the cross-border region, in the past period the municipalities and other affected stakeholders are focused intensively on their implementation.

In the municipalities of Berovo, Pehchevo and Delcevo, photovoltaic systems are installed on the roofs of 3 public institutions , which is expected to reduce the CO2emissions, but also significant savings in electricity will be made, which will directly reduce the costs of the municipalities. The sources for the realization of these projects are provided by the EU funds.

Additionally, the Air quality reports and measures for their improvement are an important basis for the municipalities for the implementation of the specific  measures and activities. There is a on-going initiative to set up an air quality measuring station in the region.

Anew project is approved for funding under the Second call for proposals under the INTERREG-IPA

Association „Renewable Energy Sources Cluster and Center“ for Medical Herbs and Berries “Ambrozija” have won a project approved for funding under the Second call for proposals under the INTERREG-IPA “Bulgaria – the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia cross-border Programme CCI Number 2014TC16I5CB006. The project entitled “Identification and Monitoring of Contaminated Soils using innovative methodology” (MCSoil) has been ranked with highest score and its duration of implementation is 15 months. The overall objective of the project is to assess the specific needs of the region about the mapping of existing and potential soil contamination and increase the awareness about the state of the soil resources in the partner countries and improving resource management efficiency with regard to soils”.

From February to May 2018, the members of the Renewable Energy Sources Cluster and Center for Medical Herbs and Berries “Ambrozija”worked in close cooperation on the development of two projects proposals entitled “Identification and Monitoring of Contaminated Soils using innovative methodology” (MCSoil) and project “Ready for disasters” /ReDi/. The project proposals was intended to apply under the Second call for proposals under the INTERREG-IPA “Bulgaria – the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia cross-border Programme CCI Number 2014TC16I5CB006. Following the publication of the final results revealing the projects proposed for financing, the “ReDi” project was ranked in the frame of the reserve list. RES Cluster and and Center for Medical Herbs and Berries “Ambrozija” are ambitious and motivated to continue to develop their cooperation and interaction in the development and implementation of initiatives and projects related to the environmental and climate protection, waste prevention, the introduction and use of RES, the promotion of EE, etc.

Successful termination of project “Joint integrated policy for low-carbon economy in cross-border region”

  • Following the successful termination of project “Joint integrated policy for low-carbon economy in cross-border region” under the First call for proposals under the INTERREG-IPA “Bulgaria – the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia cross-border Programme CCI Number 2014TC16I5CB006, representatives of the two partner organizations Renewable Energy Sources Cluster and Center for Medical Herbs and Berries “Ambrozija” conducted a work meeting, held on February 15th 2018 in the town of Pehchevo – Republic of North Macedonia. Main focus of the meeting was to discuss the perspectives for further cooperation between the two organizations.

During the work meeting, the representatives of the two organizations discussed several project ideas in order to apply in partnership under the Second call for proposals and by this means to strengthened their cooperation in the field of the ecology and environmental protection. Аs а result, the team from the partner organizations have agreed on developing two specific project ideas and thus to extend the scope of the preceding successfully implemented project and to increase the attention towards other crucial and topical subjects in the frame of the Priority axis “Environment”.

Final Conference in Pehcevo, 11-12.01.2018

Final Conference in Pehcevo, 11-12.01.2018

On 11-12 of January 2018, in Pehcevo, Republic of Macedonia was held a Final Conference of the project  “Joint Integrated Policy for Low-Carbon Economy in Cross-Border Region”, with a Ref. No.CB006.1.11.165 under First Invitation of Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria-the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Programme, CCI No.2014TC16I5CB006.

At the conference were presented the results of the completed project activities, including the results of the Air Monitoring carried out in the field of air pollution in the Cross-Border Region, the Joint Low-Carbon Economy Policy Recommendations Report for the Transition of the Region to Low-Carbon Economy with guidelines and recommendations to the local and regional authorities, the establishment of a Cross-Border Informal Network for supporting the process of transition of the Region to Low-Carbon Economy, etc.

During the Conference was presented the Manual for Self Assessment with a questionnaire for self-assessment of the carbon footprint of companies, institutions and organizations, and a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the partner organizations – the Association “Center for Medicinal Herbs and Berries Ambrosija” Pehcevo, Republic of Macedonia and the Association “Cluster of renewable energy sources” from Blagoevgrad, Republic of Bulgaria.

Representatives of both organizations expressed satisfaction with the results achieved and committed  to support the Cross-Border Region during the transition to a Low-Carbon Economy after the project’s completion.





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