Despite substantial progress, WB6 countries’ energy industries are still in transition as evidenced by aging infrastructure, high energy intensity (up to 4.2 times EU average), high dependence on fossil fuels, low energy efficiency especially in industry and buildings, and fragmented markets with limited cross border trade despite a strategic transit location.Import dependency is very high for hydrocarbons. The potential for the energy sector is considerable and has been identified as a regional growth driver. The renewable energy and energy efficiency potential remains largely untapped.
All WB6 countries 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 PECI and PMI 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.
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