USEA and USAID to help develop historic regional electricity market in Southeast Europe

Podgorica, Montenegro—The U.S. Energy Association and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have structured a landmark agreement that supports development of a regional electricity market among transmission system operators (TSOs) and market operators (MOs) in 8 countries in Southeast Europe.

Countries include: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Under the new Electricity Market Initiative (EMI), the countries’ TSOs and MOs would share generation, transmission and market data to optimize the regional grid and invite international investment into countries that have otherwise relied on resources within their borders to meet a growing electricity demand.

The Initiative aims to improve market efficiency, enhance competition and encourage alternative generation.

The EMI builds on 25 years of grid modernization following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the recent turnover of the celebrated Southeast Europe Cooperation Initiative Transmission System Planning Project (SECI) to the European Network of Transmission System Operators of Electricity (ENTSO-E).   

The SECI project led to more than $1 billion in network infrastructure investment designed to support robust wholesale electricity trade.

“The region is thriving, but it requires a strong regional electricity market and diversity of resources to continue growing. This cooperation among the countries creates transparency and is an exercise in diplomacy that portends prosperity and harmony across a region that has seen decades of war, economic uncertainty and limited energy access,” said Will Polen, senior director at USEA in charge of the project.

Polen added, “Western Balkan countries are waking up from the legacy of centrally planned economies to a region now dedicated to reforms intended to enable EU membership. The energy sector has a significant role, and the EMI is a critical step.”

USEA and USAID will launch the electricity market in a signing ceremony July 16 in Podgorica.

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If you would like to speak with Will Polen or attend the signing ceremony, please contact Dipka Bhambhani at [email protected] or 202-321-3337.

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