The Climate Investment Funds Accelerating Coal Transition Programme (CIF ACT) offers a holistic toolkit to support countries transitioning away from coal, tackling challenges linked to national strategies, people, and communities, as well as land and infrastructure. CIF ACT aims to achieve Transformation Change in climate action, which is defined as a “Fundamental change in systems relevant to climate action with large-scale positive impacts that shift and accelerate the trajectory of progress towards climate neutral, inclusive, resilient and sustainable development pathways.” The programme seeks to achieve transformational change through the combination of five dimensions, including relevance, systemic change, speed, scale and adaptive sustainability; each of which has to be addressed through country specific ACT Investment Plans.
CIF ACT builds support at the local level to reconsider the development of new coal plants and accelerate the retirement of existing coal assets. It also fosters new economic activities fuelled by new sources of energy by working with public sector utilities and private sector operators to define paths to advance clean energy transitions.
North Macedonia has set a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target of net 82% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. In 2022, 46.5% of the country’s electricity was generated from coal, supplied by two power plants - 125MW TPP Oslomej and 639MW TPP Bitola. North Macedonia is a net electricity importer (circa 2 TWh p/a). Despite the energy crisis, the country has recently reinforced its commitment for 82% reduction compared to 1990 levels by 2030, with full coal phase out coal as the main driver. The European Union Delegation (EUD) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are supporting the Government in the development of the territorial just transition diagnostic and roadmap (JTD) to ensure that the transition benefits are shared, and to support vulnerable regions, communities, and workers from falling behind.
Recognising the level of ambition, CIF’s Governing body has invited North Macedonia to participate in the program and develop an investment plan commensurate to an indicative allocation of up to USD 85 million, with the support of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) – EBRD (lead), World Bank and International Finance Corporation.
The Programme will focus on five key areas:
Capacity Building Support to the Ministry of Economy – Energy Sector to lead the drafting of the Accelerated Coal Transition Investment Plan
The objectives of the assignment are to ensure inclusive, coordinated and well-communicated drafting of the Investment Plan, through integrated just transition coordinator within the Ministry of Economy's Energy Sector.
Assessment of climate-smart economic diversification opportunities in Pelagonia and Southwest regions
The objective of the assignment is to inform climate-smart economic diversification options in Pelagonia and Southwest region.
Market Analysis on energy efficiency and clean heating opportunities for coal-reliant communities
The objectives of the assignment is to focus on market analysis on energy efficiency and clean heating opportunities for coal-reliant communities, targeting primarily the ‘People’ pillar of the ACT framework.
Scoping study on grid investments and storage needs, and power plant repurposing to support integration of renewable sources in the Southwest and Pelagonia regions
The objectives of the assignment are:
• System study and technical assessment of transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure upgrade needs up to 2030 to ensure continuous supply to existing system users and safe and reliable connections for the anticipated new RES capacity;
• Scoping study for the least-cost low-carbon energy storage solutions to support integration of RE and energy security.
- Assess options for repurposing of one unit of Oslomej and at least two units of Bitola TPPs, using CIF’s ReACT tool. The options should be Paris aligned, compliant with EBRD’s Environmental and Social Policy, and exclude unabated fossil fuels.
Assessment of land reclamation and repurposing options
The objectives of the assignment are:
• Examine the repurposing potential of coal mine sites. The assignment will use the Land Repurposing Application Tool (LURA), and will be led (and procured) by the World Bank.
- Legal-economic assessment of potential competitive tendering options for private and public land, identified as optimal for deployment of large-scale solar PV and other renewables.
Should the proposed Programme in North Macedonia be approved by the CIF Governing body, grants and concessional finance will be channelled via EBRD and other participating IFIs (World Bank and IFC).
Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.
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