The current fossil-fuel energy crisis and sky-rocketing electricity prices on the Southeast Europe power exchanges prioritize crisis response measures of the governments in the Western Balkan countries (WBC) - ensuring the safety of supply and affordability of electricity supply in the near term (1-3 years). A predominant response of the WBC governments to the ongoing energy crisis in the region could be characterized as a "return to coal as a silver bullet solution" approach. In addition, certain international players in the sector (i.e. the EBRD) are promoting natural gas as a solution for the safety of supply. This approach could be defined as "looking for a new silver bullet solution." Obviously, both approaches are "false" silver bullets, posing a great risk of stranded assets and would impede the green energy transition. Strategic decisions related to power sector development in the WBC taken in the next few years will determine mid-term (5-8 years) and long-term (20-30 years) perspectives of the power industry.
This Project intends to help prevent strategic mistakes in planning the energy transition pathways in the WBC through the definition and dissemination of proposals regarding models and priorities of the international assistance programs for speeding up the green energy transition in the WBC. To that end, a non-paper (study) "REPower WB - Preventing the perfect storm," will be prepared and disseminated. In this non-paper, views and opinions of experts from state institutions, industry, academia, and think-tanks from the WBC regarding a vision and the roadmap for the short-term (1-3 years) and the medium-term (5-8 years) development of the power sector will be identified and synthesized, keeping in mind the long term goal to decarbonize the electricity sector. The main idea behind this Project is to build a common understanding among experts in the WBC regarding short-term policies and measures aiming to increase the safety of supply while not impeding the green energy transition.
Local stakeholders (parliaments, governments, ministries, and public power utilities) will be informed about the study's results to impact the strategic decisions making process and prevent adopting the crisis management solutions, which, in the long run, might impede the green energy transition. However, since a driving force for the green energy transition in the region is the "international community", EU and EU countries' representatives are the leading group to be targeted through dissemination activities.
The main objective of this Project is to identify and synthesize opinions of experts from the WBC regarding a long-term vision and the short-term (1-3years) and the mid-term (5-8 years) policy measures for the development of the power sector in order to inform national and EU policy makers about the priorities of the international assistance programs for accelerating the green energy transition, while maintaining security of supply.