Regional Complexities

Let's be honest. Even with sophisticated analysis, there are challenges to bringing power market integration in SEE to fruition:

Electrons need to be managed as well as markets. Opening the borders could cause congestion or reliability issues that the grid owners must anticipate. A number of the eleven EMI countries are well connected with each other, but others are not, nor are they fully connected with Central Europe.

Nearly all the generation is government-owned; there is little private investment to date to put downward pressure on prices, assume risk, or introduce new technologies.

Greater power market integration and RES expansion may require new energy laws, policies, regulations, and wholesale rates.

Retail rates are subsidized in some countries, so customers may not see the results of opening markets nor respond to wholesale price changes.

Generation portfolios vary widely, from nearly all hydro (Albania) to nearly all coal (Kosovo), plus nuclear, gas, solar, wind, biomass, and diesel generation. As the mix changes, the thousands of coal mining jobs also require a thoughtful transition.

There is no gas-fired power generation yet in the WB6, which limits dispatch and market flexibility. That will change soon, as a new pipeline from Azerbaijan and additional LNG resources could lead to several thousand megawatts of gas generation by 2030.

There is little distributed generation in SEE, so changes in electric vehicles, roof-top solar, microgrids, and demand management are more a part of the region's future than its present.

None of the WB6 countries are yet in the European Union, which requires a carbon market, emissions restrictions, and high levels of RES, which may exceed the reach of some countries.

There is no power exchange between most EMI countries, and most existing exchanges in SEE are lightly competitive and internally focused.