The potential, however, is significant. The sector could be a regional growth driver through multi-country projects, like the Southern Gas Corridor, or by tapping into a large renewable energy and energy efficiency potential, which could help achieve more energy security in the region and contribute to the countries’ Paris Agreement pledges and goals.
All six beneficiaries are members of the Energy Community, which aims at extending the EU internal energy market to South East Europe. Key objectives of the Energy Community include attracting new investment in infrastructure – particularly for projects identified as Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs), enhancing security of supply, creating an integrated and competitive market, and improving the sector’s environmental performance.
The WBIF works closely with the Energy Community and provides both technical assistance grants and investment grants to projects in line with the objectives of the Energy Community, primarily for regional connectivity and energy efficiency. Only regional projects are eligible for WBIF investment grants and can make use of the approximately €1 billion EU grant available for connectivity co-financing over the 2015-2020 period.
A Greener Future for the Western Balkans (c) European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2012.