Studies

This section features the studies tendered and financed by the Energy Community Secretariat. The chosen research topics reflect the objectives set in the organisation's Work Programme. In few occasions the Secretariat itself conducted the study. The findings of the final reports, in return, contribute to the work of the Energy Community. 

This page displays the 16 most recent studies. With more than 60 studies conducted since 2007, the Secretariat released two studies in 2024 so far.

Studies by areas of work

 Electricity

  • 10/2023: 70% Target for electricity interconnection capacities

    October 2023: Study on 70% target for electricity interconnection capacities 70% target for electricity interconnection capacities

    With the adoption of Decision 2022/03/MC-EnC, the Ministerial Council incorporated the Electricity Integration Package in the Energy Community in December 2022. With a transposition deadline of 31 December 2023, this package encompasses nine legal acts, incorporating also Regulation (EU) 2019/943. As a result, the TSOs of Contracting Parties are obliged to make available a minimum level of cross-zonal capacity considering operational security limits. This target, better known as the 70% target, aims at facilitating the implementation of a fully integrated and well-functioning European electricity market by enabling increased cross-zonal trade and exchange of electricity.

    It is recommended that Contracting Parties prepare and adopt action plans to address shortcomings and opt for full compliance with the target by 31 December 2027 rather than derogations which should not be used to address structural problems. As concrete actions for improvement, it is highlighted that improving regional cooperation by operationalization of capacity calculation regions and coordinated capacity calculation methodology, moving from existing bilateral NTC to coordinated NTC, or even to flow-based approach, would increase available capacity as the system is already well connected.

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  • 09/2023: Analysis of Direct Subsidies to Coal and Lignite Electricity Production

    September 2023: Analysis of Direct Subsidies to Coal and Lignite Electricity Production

    This report analyzes the scale of direct subsidies in the Energy Community Contracting Parties that owned and utilized generation capacities and resources from coal and lignite in 2020: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* , Montenegro. The report builds on previous researches and studies encompassing the periods from 2016 onwards.

    All the five Contracting Parties provided direct subsidies to electricity generation from coal/lignite during 2021-2022, levelling to more than EUR 180 million. In absolute terms, the value of subsidies was the highest in Serbia (98,67 mill. EUR) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (70,14 mill. EUR).

     

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  • 07/2022: Flexibility options to support decarbonization

    July 2022: Study on flexibility options to support decarbonization in the Energy Community

    The study assesses the flexibility needs and options to balance each Contracting Party’s power system on different time-scales (daily, weekly and annual) until 2030 and 2040 under different assumptions mainly linked to the speed of renewables uptake and level of market integration.

    It identified that there will be no need for additional investments into flexibility sources until 2030 when variable renewables (wind and solar) might reach 30 GW. The study underscored the pivotal role of cross-border interconnectors and market coupling in providing the flexibility needed to enable higher penetration of renewables and decarbonisation in the Energy Community. Annualised investment needs/costs between 2030 and 2040 into additional flexibility sources will drop by as much as EUR 150 million if organised spot (day-ahead and intra-day) and balancing markets are coupled between the Contracting Parties and with the EU.

    Market integration will also allow the absorption of an additional 5 TWh per year of variable renewable production from the EU that would otherwise be curtailed.The study concludes by setting out policy and regulatory recommendations to minimize overall system costs, including on energy sector governance, electricity market design, renewable energy development and carbon pricing. The Contracting Parties are recommended to define a flexibility strategy as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).

     

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    21.07.2022
  • 07/2022: Analysis of Direct Subsidies to Coal and Lignite Electricity Production

    July 2022: Analysis of Direct Subsidies to Coal and Lignite Electricity Production

    This report analyzes the scale of direct subsidies in the six Energy Community Contracting Parties that owned and utilized generation capacities and resources from coal and lignite in 2020: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* , Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. The other three Contracting Parties, Albania, Moldova and Georgia, do not have coal-fired electricity generation capacity. The report builds on previous research and studies,  encompassing the periods 2018 - 2019 (12/2020 coal report) and 2015 - 2017 (06/2019 coal report).

    The report concludes that all six Parties provided direct subsidies to electricity generation from coal/lignite during 2020. These subsidies amounted to more than EUR 400 million. In absolute terms, the amount of subsidies was the highest in Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

     

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  • 06/2021: Technical Assistance for the Connection Network Codes Implementation

    June 2021: Technical Assistance for the Connection Network Codes Implementation

    With the Decision 2018/04/PHLG-EnC, the following EU regulations were incorporated into the Energy Community acquis: 

    In order to support the DSOs and TSOs to prepare and align their grid codes to the EU regulations, the Secretariat contracted technical assistance. The overall objective was to assist system operators in further implementation, through: 

    • setting the specific parameters left to be defined on a country level (TSO/DSO),
    • drafting the provisions for respective DSO and TSO documents related to connection process and containing technical connection requirements and parameters,
    • methodologies with rationale for selection of particular technical requirements/parameters to serve as the ground for justification in future public consultations,
    • identification of connection issues and related business processes which affect both TSO and DSO and require their close collaboration.

    As a final outcome, the technical assistance resulted in a series of reports:

    • Report on identified non-exhaustive technical connection requirements to be set at national level and gap analysis on level of transposition (9 reports for each Contracting Party);
    • Setting of methodologies for determination of non-exhaustive requirements (one consolidated report);
    • Drafting the provisions for inclusion of non-exhaustive requirements in national legislation (9 reports for each Contracting Party);
    • Mutual TSO and DSO connection issues and business processes.

    The consolidated Contracting Party reports are displayed in the table below.

     

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  • 02/2021: Electricity Interconnection Targets

    February 2021: Electricity Interconnection Targets in the Energy Community

    This study observes the Energy Community Contracting Parties’ electricity interconnectivity level with respect to the EU 2020 (10%) and 2030 criteria (15% of net transfer capacity/total production capacity), in order to estimate further needs and opportunities with respect to power transmission.The transmission networks in the region are more strongly interconnected than those of the majority of EU Member States today (in relation to the peak load and installed generation capacity). All Contracting Parties comfortably satisfy the 10% interconnectivity target, only Ukraine is close to or below this threshold depending on what part of the country is observed (Burshtyn island only or the whole of Ukraine) and which cross-border transmission lines are taken into account (toward ENTSO-E or UPS/IPS or both).
    Efficient usage and full exploitation of interconnectors is unfortunately still an issue due to low net transfer capacity values at the borders, leading to restricted market activities in the observed regions.

     

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  • 01/2021: A carbon pricing design for the Energy Community

    January 2021: A carbon pricing design for the Energy Community

    The aim of the study is to propose a carbon pricing mechanism for the time horizon until 2040, suitable for the decarbonisation of the power and district heating sectors in the Contracting Parties (CPs) of the Energy Community, considering the intrinsic political, economic and social context in these countries. The need to come up with a carbon pricing mechanism for the Energy Community turns out to be pressing for three most obvious reasons. First, almost half of all electricity produced in the CPs still comes from old and inefficient thermal power plants burning solid fossil fuels, i.e. lignite and coal, despite mounting costs, generation adequacy concerns, air quality deterioration and public health effects. Second, solids-firing generation remains artificially cheap due to distortionary policies that conceal the true cost of carbon and hamper competition and the transition to a low-carbon power market.
    Third, solids-based electricity from the CPs is leaking into the EU, undermining Europe’s climate policy and incentivising further the use of solids, i.e. coal and lignite, in the Energy Community.

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    19.01.2021
  • 12/2020: Analysis of direct subsidies to coal and lignite electricity production 2018–2019

    December 2020: An analysis of Direct Subsidies to Coal and Lignite Electricity Production 2018–2019

    This report sheds light on the scale of direct subsidies in the six Energy Community Contracting Parties which own and utilize generation capacities and resources from coal and lignite: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. The report covers the period 2018–2019 and builds on previous research encompassing the 2015–2017 period. The World Trade Organization’s definition of subsidies was used to research, identify, calculate and describe subsidies.

    The report revealed that all six Contracting Parties analysed provided direct subsidies to electricity generation from coal/lignite during 2018 and 2019. These subsidies amounted to more than EUR 900 million. In absolute terms, the subsidies were the highest in Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report also uncovered the scale of state guaranteed loans, which amounted to almost 2 billion in 2019 alone. 

     

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    02.12.2020
  • 05/2020: Smart Grid opportunities in the Energy Community

    May 2020: Smart Grid opportunities in the Energy Community, Scoping Study

    As defined by the International Energy Agency, “a smart grid is an energy network that uses digital and other advanced technologies to monitor and manage the transport of energy from all generation sources to meet the varying energy demands of end-users”. The aim of smart grids is to maximize system reliability, resilience and stability and minimize costs and environmental impacts by coordinating the needs and resources of end-users and generation, grid and market operators. Since smart grids are mainly based on information sharing, the new information and communication technologies are their vital enabler.

    This study is intended to give a snapshot of the current situation of smart grids and smart meter penetration in the Energy Community, based on responses to questionnaires prepared by the Secretariat in consultation with members of the ECDSO-E coordination group

    Having in view the current level of technological development in the Contracting Parties, the study pinpoints energy digitalization areas of most relevance and proposes concrete regional projects that could be eligible for technical and financial assistance.

     

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    Electricity
    13.05.2020
  • 02/2020: Analysis on system adequacy and capacity mechanisms

    February 2020: Analyses on system adequacy and capacity mechanisms in the Western Balkans

    The electricity markets in the Contracting Parties are experiencing a period of complex transition, characterised by the coexistence of the liberalization and decarbonisation agendas. As a consequence, a number of plants could potentially retire, which raises security of supply concerns.

    The results of this study show that an efficient energy-only regional market would bring the flexibility and adequacy required to maintain security of supply. Yet despite all progress, an efficient regional market mechanism is still not in place in the Western Balkans. Beyond delayed reforms, government actions such as non-compliant State aid distort operational and investments signals. Such State aid is often justified by the claim to maintain security of supply, a claim for which the present study in the current conditions does not provide support.

    The authors of the study were asked to look into justifications for and modalities of potential capacity mechanisms. Without the energy market reforms completed and a functional and integrated energy-only market in place, there is little room for them. The study shows that the implementation of an immediate carbon price below the EU ETS would be a good transitional and non-critical measure to mitigate the risk of immediate closure of some of the power plants in the WB6 upon EU accession or the imposition of a carbon border price.

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 Gas

  • 06/2021: Study on the potential for implementation of hydrogen technologies

    June 2021: Study on the potential for implementation of hydrogen technologies and its utilisation in the Energy Community

    The Secretariat commissioned a study on the potential for implementation of hydrogen technologies and its utilisation in the Energy Community in September 2020. The driver behind this initiative is to kick-start a discussion on the potential hydrogen applications in the Contracting Parties, addressing the legal feasibility, economic and technological opportunities in connection with the European Union’s hydrogen activities. The study takes stock of ongoing activities, possibilities, potential pilot project areas. To be fit to enter into the multi-stakeholder endeavour of hydrogen applications also the legal framework in place was assessed.

    The Study is composed of three, interconnected reports:

    • Synthesis Report
    • International Review
    • Economic Analysis
    • Contracting Party assessment

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  • 05/2021: Report on methane emissions by gas transmission and distribution

    May 2021: Report on methane emissions by gas transmission and distribution system operators in the Energy Community Contracting Parties

    At present, gas system operators in the Energy Community do not have legal obligations to monitor, report or decrease their methane emissions. However, this sector has significant methane emissions reduction potential. Decreasing allowed network losses, setting minimum regular maintenance levels and fostering energy efficiency measures are some of the measures that could be explored.

    This report is the outcome of the Secretariat's internal data collection project. Establishment of a baseline of methane emissions stemming from gas system operation activities is a precondition for any concrete, future emissions reduction action. The scope of the project also included joining the Methane Guiding Principles, to underline the Energy Community’s future direction in relation to methane emission policies.

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 Infrastructure

  • 06/2020: Assessment of candidate PECI and PMI projects

    June 2020: Assessment of candidate Projects of Energy Community Interest and Projects for Mutual Interest

    According to the adapted Regulation, the selected priority projects are labelled in two categories: Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs). PECIs are projects that connect two Contracting Parties, or a Contracting Party and an EU Member state, under the condition that the project has already received the PCI label. All other projects, that are no PCIs can be developed on a voluntary basis as a PMI project. 
    The core of the assessment is a socio-economic cost benefit analysis of the electricity and gas infrastructure projects, that is based on market modelling, carried out by the European Electricity Market Model (EEMM) and the European Gas Market Model (EGMM) developed by REKK. The selection procedure and the applied methodology has been fine-tuned and further developed
    compared to previous assessments.

     

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 Renewable energy

  • 04/2024: Post War Development of the Renewable Energy Sector in Ukraine

    April 2024: Post War Development of the Renewable Energy Sector in Ukraine

    The war has inflicted significant damage upon Ukraine's renewable energy sector, abruptly halting its pre-war momentum and plunging it into a state of profound disruption. This grim reality underscores the urgent imperative to prioritize the sector's revitalization as a cornerstone of Ukraine's post-war economic and environmental reconstruction. While renewables present a beacon of hope in this bleak landscape, their resurgence hinges upon the establishment of critical preconditions of a regulatory, institutional, and financial nature, thereby unlocking their full potential to drive a sustainable and prosperous future for Ukraine. The study presents over 20 recommendations and reiterates on the key issues and best ways to implement.

     

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    Renewable energy
    12.04.2024
  • 12/2020: Modalities to foster use of renewable energy sources in the transport sector

    December 2020: Modalities to foster use of renewable energy sources in the transport sector by the Energy Community Contracting Parties

    The Energy Community has started considering the implementation of the revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.  Assuming for this study, that the provisions of RED II are transposed into the laws of the Contracting Parties without changes, the consultants develop roadmaps for each Party towards achieving the 2030 target for renewables in transport in accordance with RED II.
    Energy consumption in transport is anticipated to grow; in many, anticipated growth is stronger by 2030 than RES-T consumption for target compliance. The level of renewable energy consumption in transport in 2018 varies between the Parties from 0 to 1.6%. In all Parties, sufficient options are available to achieve RES-T targets compliant with RED II, so the study findings.
    Policies for RES-T should be based on three pillars: biofuels, electricity and hydrogen. For biofuels, RED II shifts the focus away from crop-based biofuels towards advanced biofuels: those made from a defined list of waste or residue-based or cellulosic feedstocks.

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 Energy efficiency

  • 07/2014: Impact assessment of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) for the Energy Community

    July 2014: Impact Assessment of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) for the Energy Community

    The 2013 Ministerial Council proposed the implementation of Directive 2012/27/EU in the Energy Community in 2014 with certain modifications. When adopted in the Energy Community, the Directive will repeal Directive 2006/32/EC and set more ambitious energy efficiency targets. This study assesses the impact of the implementation of the Directive 2012/27/EU in the Energy Community focussing on its four key provisions: national targets; exemplary role of public buildings; energy efficiency obligation schemes; and promotion of efficiency in heating and cooling.

    For each provision different scenarios were analyzed using the best available data and assumptions regarding the cost, performance and availability of energy efficient devices in each sector with the aim of assessing the costs and benefits of each scenario.

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  • 02/2012: Energy Efficiency in buildings in the Contracting Parties

    February 2012: Energy Efficiency in Buildings in the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community

    The main aim of the study was to support the Contracting Parties in their efforts to meet their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. The study gives a comprehensive overview of status of implementation of the Building Directive in the Contracting Parties. It also tries to facilitate the Parties' future efforts in preparation of NEEAPs and to change attitude toward energy consumption in buildings. The report gives guidelines for preparing inventory of buildings and defining reference building for each category as defined in the EPB Directive.

    The study also provides instructions for developing a common methodology for national database for climate parameters and calculation of the energy performance indicator of buildings. Finally, it provides a model for assessment of potential energy savings, as well as, for calculation of needed investments.

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 Environment

  • 11/2013: Study on the need for modernization of large combustion plants

    November 2013: Study on the need for modernization of large combustion plants in the Energy Community

    The purpose of the study is to deliver an overall estimate on the amount of investment necessary for the modernization of thermal power plants located in the Contracting Parties, including benefits that could be obtained by implementing the EU Large Combustion Plant (LCP) and Industrial Emissions Directives (IED). The study concludes that with the exception of Albania and Moldova, all Contracting Parties have a high level of estimated external costs of power and heat generation, mainly due to the average age of the infrastructure as well as a low level of maintenance over the past decades.
    Major investments would be necessary in order to carry out the necessary environmental upgrades that could safeguard the proper implementation of the two directives. Overall compliance costs are estimated at 6,701.6 mil EUR for the LCP Directive and  7,843.8 mil EUR for the IED. Nevertheless, according to the cost-benefit analyses carried out in the study, benefits significantly outweigh the costs in the case of each and every Contracting Party, reaching an average benefit/cost ratio of 17 at the regional level.

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  • 03/2011: Study on the potential for climate change combating in power generation

    March 2011: Study on the potential for climate change combating in power generation in the Energy Community

    The study presents an inventory of the greenhouse gas emissions originating from the Contracting Parties' electricity generation (including CHP). It also entails the projected increase of these emissions by 2020, based on the generation forecast.  It builds on an inventory based on the UNFCCC reporting guidelines, limited to the electricity (including CHP) generation in the non Annex 1 countries that are parties to the Energy Community.
    Based on the assessment of the study, the region's 65 thermal power plants (TPPs) are ranked based on four variables, namely age SO2, NOx and particulates emissions. In terms of future steps, the study outlines a baseline scenario and a more optimistic one and articulates recommendations for better policy-making.

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 Customer

  • 02/2013: Development of best practice recommendations for customer switching

    February 2013: Development of best practice recommendations for customer switching in the Energy Community

    Enabling customers to switch their suppliers is a core prerequisite for a well-working liberalised market. Whilst functional in the EU, these procedures have not yet been established in the Energy Community context. To facilitate the process, the Energy Community contracted consultants to develop best practice recommendations for customers’ supplier switching, both for electricity and gas markets.  The study identifies a best practice switching model among the EU-27 using a variety of criteria.

    The basic recommendations for the creation of a competitive framework necessary for any customer switching procedure include, inter alia, the creation of energy market associations, the swift implementation of the Third Energy Package, the implementation of full meter penetration and the entry of new suppliers to the markets.

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  • 04/2012: Recommendations for quality of service data collection, reporting and auditing

    April 2012: Recommendations for quality of service data collection, reporting and auditing in the Energy Community

    In an ideal world, the national regulatory authorities would ensure liberalization of the electricity market without any worsening of the quality of electricity service. The study provides recommendations for the quality of electricity service data collecting, reporting and auditing and the gradual development of the quality of service regulation. The study refers to recently made experience of European Union Member States on the quality of service regulation and uses best practise legislation as a sort of a checklist for all the necessary activities. It addresses the three dimensions of the quality of service, namely the continuity of supply, the voltage quality and the commercial quality.

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  • 02/2012: Development of best practice recommendations for smart meters rollout in the Energy Community

    February 2012: Development of best practice recommendations for smart meters rollout in the Energy Community

    The aim was to develop a set of best practice recommendations for rolling-out smart metering in the Energy Community, taking into account the EU's lessons learned and the specifics of its Contracting Parties.  The cost-benefit assessments regarding smart metering deployment as specified in Annex I of the Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC are due by Jan 2014. The ECRB commissioned the report due to the fact that large-scale implementation of smart metering has not yet taken place in the Energy Community and that all Contracting Parties still need to carry out the economic assessment of the long-term benefits and costs of smart metering implementation. 

    The report provides a cost benefit analysis, a description of the different models, including an outline ofthe role of the regulator.  There is a template for the scope of a country-wide cost-benefit analysis, demonstrating the general set-up of a cost-benefit analysis, the steps to perform, including the resulting deliverables.

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 Statistics

  • 10/2013: Implementation of the energy statistics acquis

    October 2013: Implementation of the energy statistics acquis

    The key objective of the project is to provide technical assistance to relevant institutions to overcome deficiencies in their statistical systems, as identified and agreed at the Energy Community level. The technical assistance by the consultant, EIHP, is to take place in the form of advising and guiding, providing expertise in developing methodological approach, quality assurance and working procedures to the relevant institutions. This should help the Parties to overcome the gaps in data collection and building their own capacity to establish independent and coherent system of energy statistics. 
    Released in November 2013, the EIHP's assessment report identifies the gaps and obstacles to the full implementation of the energy statistics acquis. It outlines the scope of further technical assistance that the Parties will receive to implement the acquis in the coming months.

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 Competition

  • 04/2011: State aid rules and effectiveness of State aid control in the electricity sector

    April 2011: State aid rules and effectiveness of State aid control in the electricity sector under the Energy Community Treaty

    The study covers State aid and its control in the electricity sectors (generation, transmission, distribution, supply, trade and consumption) in seven of the Contracting Parties to the Treaty. 
    The study consists of three parts. There firstly is a description of the current legal and institutional framework of each Contracting Parties for the monitoring of State aid measures granted at national level, including the specific powers and enforcement practice of the relevant national authorities. There also is a comprehensive inventory of State aid measures adopted by the authorities of the Contracting Parties.
    The Part III assesses and evaluates the legislative framework relating to State aid in the electricity sector and its practical application in the territory of each of the Contracting Parties included in the study. Benchmark for the evaluation is the law and practice of the EU.

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 Cross cutting

  • 12/2021: Study on energy poverty

    December 2021: Study on addressing energy poverty in the Energy Community Contracting Parties

    The study estimates the number of energy poor households, analyses the legal frameworks for the protection of vulnerable and energy poor consumers and investigates the main drivers and causes of energy poverty in the Contracting Parties. Efforts to address energy poverty are part of the Energy Community Just Transition Initiative to ensure that the move away from fossil fuels in the Contracting Parties is socially just, in the interest of women, workers and entire communities.

    The study found that while all Contracting Parties have definitions of vulnerable customers, that definition is closely related to the social (income) and health status. Other aspects and drivers of energy poverty, such as the energy efficiency of homes, gender and energy needs, are not considered. This means that not all energy poor households are getting the support they need.

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Environment
 

  • 06/2024: Project permit-granting and planning

    June 2024: Permit-Granting and Planning of Energy Projects in the Energy Community

    The study analysis each Contracting Party's compliance with the EIA Directive, compiling information from different sources related to EIA, spatial planning and grid connections of energy projects. To create a comprehensive assessment, EU experiences were used. Stakeholder questionnaire-derived inputs were the critical source of data for identifying obstacles and good practices in permitting procedures.The also formulates recommendations.

     

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    10.06.2024

Historic documents

Pursuant to the Secretariat's documents policy, no study older than five years is displayed online (presently 2019 publication date or older). Whist these historic documents have been moved into archive, the Secretariat maintains records of its past studies.

Access to the past studies is granted upon request.