Regional modellers discuss impact of the pandemic on energy and climate planning

22 January 2021

Yesterday’s Energy Community Regional Exchange of Modelling Experts of the Western Balkans gathered around 40 participants to discuss the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and energy sector. “Projections of economic growth and energy consumption build the base for integrated energy and climate planning. An overestimation leads to oversized plans for the energy system and misguides investment decisions. We heard from many Contracting Parties about ongoing discussions on whether and how to adapt related projections to the current pandemic situation”, says Anja Rosenberg, Technical Advisor at the Energy Community Secretariat. As the first Contracting Party, North Macedonia presented its new lowered GDP projections yesterday, which already anticipate the impact of future economic downturns.

This session was part of a series of exchanges that the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Energy Community Secretariat initiated in 2020 to spur the discussion of various aspects relevant for the ongoing modelling work on the National Energy and Climate Plans. It is a first step towards regional harmonization of modelling approaches, parameters and assumptions. Experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro and North Macedonia are active contributors in this monthly exchange, presenting and discussing the results of their work. Yesterday, representatives from the Serbian government and research community participated for the first time.

The NECPs depend on scenario-based models which assess the impact of existing and planned policies and measures on the development of the energy system and greenhouse gas emissions. Sound modelling is indispensable for the analytical basis required for policy decisions on national contributions towards the Paris Agreement and future Energy Community targets. Western Balkan Contracting Parties are progressing in developing the analytical basis of their NECPs, with North Macedonia being the forerunner in the Energy Community and the first Contracting Party to have submitted a draft NECP to the Secretariat.


* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.