Using clean or low-carbon energy is more important now than ever, and it is interesting to examine North Macedonia's standing in this context. As of 2023, North Macedonia's electricity comes largely from fossil fuels, with a combined production of approximately 5.54 TWh from coal and gas. Low-carbon energy, on the other hand, contributes to much lesser extent, generating slightly more than 1 TWh, primarily from hydropower. Despite the import of another 1.38 TWh, North Macedonia's electricity consumption per person is still significantly below the global average of 410 watts/person. This relatively low level of electricity generation might hamper the country's economic growth and suggests that bulk of the population might not have access to affordable and reliable electricity supply.
To increase the share and generation of low-carbon electricity, North Macedonia can draw insights from other nations that have been successful in leveraging different forms of clean energy. For instance, countries like Germany and Italy have managed to generate substantial amounts of energy from wind and solar power, respectively. North Macedonia, being a comparatively small country with diverse geographic features, can enhance its utilization of clean energy by following a similar approach. Additionally, it may consider investing in nuclear energy, which nations like the United States, France, and Russia have successfully used to generate substantial amounts of clean energy despite environmental concerns.
Progress in the formulation of low-carbon electricity in North Macedonia may have been steady, but it has been variable and primarily reliant on hydropower. In the 1990s, hydropower showed some growth, reaching a peak around 0.4 TWh in 1991, but then saw a drop later in the decade. Hydro generation picked up again in the 2000s before tapering off and then expanding significantly by 1.2 TWh in 2010. However, this was followed by a period of decline and fluctuation from 2011 to the present. Considering fluctuations in water availability due to climate change and environmental concerns, it seems imperative for North Macedonia to diversify its clean energy portfolio beyond hydropower.