Nowadays, renewable energy sources are more important in electric power systems. The reason is the increased price of electricity, as well as the great pollution of the environment that affects the climate changes. At the moment, despite the extremely favourable conditions and climate for the use of solar radiation in Macedonia, which compared to almost all European countries are far better, the use of solar radiation is among the lowest in Europe. The solar energy can be converted into heat and electricity. In particular, finding efficient solutions for the use of solar energy as a resource can be done with the use of systems with thermal, photovoltaic or photo/thermal solar collectors. In Macedonia, energy efficiency and energy efficient devices are often discussed, but rarely the criteria or quality certificates.
As an association that is a verified training centre for solar installers actively working in the field of quality workforce development and lobbying for better conditions in the solar sector, we often have the common goal of having certified equipment installed by a licensed installer. The criteria according to which citizens should choose energy-efficient equipment is best explained in the GEFF (Global Energy Financing Facility) programme.
Image 1. Energy efficient solar thermal collectors with Solarkey Mark certificate
Proposed criteria according to which energy efficient devices should be selected.
- Heat pumps (electric or gas): with COP
– Water thermal pump: ≥4.3
– Aerial thermal pump: ≥4.3
– Earthly thermal pump: ≥4.3
– Earth-water thermal pump: ≥4.3
– Thermal pump on disposed air: ≥4.3
– Earth-water closed system heat pumps: ≥4.0
- Suns systems for hot water (sun collectors, including control system): thermal efficiency: ≥ 75% (confirmed with SOLAR KEYMARK CERTIFICATE or equivalent quality mark)
Solar photovoltaic installations (PV): electric efficiency ≥ 14%
Sun photo/thermal installations (PV/T): with electric efficiency over 14 % and thermal efficiency ŋ0, based on hemispherical radiation over 54%.
At global level, there is an increasing trend in several markets for equipment for the use of solar energy. Italy sets a positive example, which has a phenomenon of 83% increase in the installed thermal capacity compared to the previous year. This is primarily due to their new “Super Bonus” subsidy scheme, which covers 110% of the total amount of the investment in energy efficient devices according to precisely defined criteria.
Chart 1. Markets with the highest growth of installed thermal systems
New tariff model introducing block tariffs will start to apply in the summer of 2022, which means that those who spend more electricity will pay more expensive bills, and those who spend less will pay cheaper electricity bills even from the current ones. This change in the tariff model means that it is high time anyone who has the opportunity to install even the smallest photovoltaic, photo/thermal or thermal system of their roof in order to reduce electricity consumption in the expensive – daily tariff. The goal is households to have electricity consumption of the lowest tariff.
According to the latest announcement in the Official Gazette of the RNM no. 138 dated 16.06.2022, the Ministry of Economy has supplemented and amended the Rulebook on renewable energy sources.
In the Rulebook, the maximum installed power for households has been changed from 4 to 6 kW and from 20 to 40 kW for consumers. It is a good thing that households have the opportunity the electricity produced during the period when it is not being consumed to be sold to the universal supplier.
Based on the directives and the complete EU regulation, and especially the latest measure of 18 May “RePower”, the criteria are clearly defined on the basis of which renewable energy sources will be stimulated and subsidized, as well as the combined systems of renewable energy sources that contribute to increasing of the efficiency coefficient. The example below is a heat pump supported by solar systems (Photovoltaic, Photo-thermal or Thermal systems).
Image 2. RePower measure from the European Union
Basic criteria will be:
– CO2 emission (kg)/kWh energy produced
– Price/produced kWh of energy
– Energy saving during system exploitation
– Return on investment (years)
Each national regulation should introduce the minimum values from the EU regulation. In Macedonia, it is very rare to talk about the quality of a solar system, the quality of installation and the quality of solar system dimensioning. A poorly installed solar system results in low efficiency and frequent servicing. Instead of promoting the use of solar energy as a sustainable resource, the biggest anti-advertisement is made with poorly installed systems. For this purpose, European regulations should be applied to the greatest extent possible in the solar sector of the Republic of North Macedonia.
About the Author
Project Manager in the Macedonian Solar Energy Association. Primary development focus of the association is to boost and facilitate cooperation among Macedonian companies (producers, designers, performers, importers, servicesThe organization work in every step of the solar energy systems; from production to service and maintenance.
Mechanical Engineer at the “Eco Solar” company that works on development of novel and innovative products, such as solar dryers and solar air collectors.