In terms of electricity generation in North Macedonia during 2022, more than half (about 58%) is derived from fossil fuels including coal (40%), natural gas (13%) and oil (5%). The contribution from low-carbon sources is almost a quarter (around 22%) of the total electricity generation, with nearly all of this coming from hydropower (19%). Wind, biofuel, and solar energy combined make up a small slice—with wind at 1.6%, biofuels at 0.57%, and solar even lower at 0.34%. This energy mix is supplemented by net imports, which make up close to 20% of the country's electricity consumption. At times, these net imports reach a peak value equating to the full electricity consumption of the country.
For North Macedonia to achieve more substantial progress in its low-carbon electricity generation, it could look to similarly sized nations who've had success in this area. Nuclear energy plays a significant role in several countries' low-carbon generation, including Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Slovakia—all countries similar in size to North Macedonia—which boast percentages of 38%, 33%, and 57% respectively. Wind energy has seen considerable success in Denmark, a country of similar population size, which derives over half of its electricity from this source. Lastly, solar energy, although currently playing a minor role in North Macedonia’s energy sector, has seen significant uptake in countries such as Chile and Yemen, contributing 17% of their electricity generation. Or Cyprus and Greece, which are Mediterranean neighbors, utilizing it for 12% of their electricity needs.
Looking at the history of low-carbon electricity in North Macedonia, it's evident that its efforts have centered primarily around hydropower. In the early 90s, there was a slight uptake in hydroelectric power with a growth of 0.4 TWh in 1991, following a slight downturn and then stabilizing towards the late 90s. The new millennium brought some challenges as hydroelectric power saw a dip of 0.5 TWh in 2001, but it rebounded with an increase of 0.6 TWh in 2003. After a period of fluctuation from 2007 to 2017, with slight increases and decreases, there was a substantial increase of 0.7 TWh in 2018. Though there was a downturn in the following year, 2022 saw a modest increase of 0.2 TWh in hydroelectric power, demonstrating the country's continuous, albeit uneven, commitment to this form of low-carbon energy.