Promoted project on energy efficiency in industry

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Improvement of energy, economic and environmental performances of Macedonia’s industrial sector is the goal of a project on catalyzing market transformation for industrial energy efficiency and accelerate investments in best available practices and technologies, which was launched Thursday in Skopje.

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The project, implemented by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Regional Environmental Center’s office in Macedonia, is intended for the ministries of economy and environment, the Energy Agency and the Macedonian Bank for Support and Development. It will be realized with direct financial assistance by the Global Environmental Facility-GIF program in amount of $1.4 million and $5.9 million of national co-financing provided by the national institutions, the bank and executing partner-companies.

The project’s objective is to enhance policies and regulatory frameworks for better and sustainable functioning in the industry and integrate energy efficiency in day-to-day business operations as well as to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector in Macedonia, said REC Macedonia director Katarina Georgieva in her welcoming speech at the promotion.

“The project offers an innovative approach and engages many stakeholders in both the public and private sector and civil society. Their coordination and synergy with other ongoing and planned activities aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the industry will be a key segment and indicator for the project’s success,” she stated adding the project would be implemented for three years by applying the best practices and technologies for energy efficiency and ecologic sustainability of the industrial companies.

It is very significant that one of the project’s main components will be implemented by a Macedonian consortium, Deputy PM for economic affairs Vladimir Pesevski said.

“Projects come and go, but local capacities that are being created will be left behind. Amid this complex political situation, we need projects in which we deal with real problems… This is what will contribute to the improvement of living standards,” noted Pesevski saying the government strongly backed the project due to its contribution to sustainable industrial development and increased competitiveness of enterprises.

I believe those industrial capacities that are going to implement energy management systems will generate energy savings in the course of the project and after its completion. With their energy and financial savings, industrial capacities will be able to bolster their investment activities and introduce clean technologies so as to protect the environment, the Deputy PM stated amongst other things.

Economy Minister Bekim Neziri said the government and his ministry advocated energy efficiency in all sectors of consumption since it was considered ‘a crucial segment of the country’s economy.’

In 2010, the Macedonian government adopted a strategy on advancing energy efficiency by 2020, whose aim is to achieve the 9% energy savings target.

This project is expected to yield serious results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to deputy environment minister Stevo Temelkovski.

The industry has been and will be the main driving force for economic growth and social development not only in Macedonia, but also around the globe, said Marco Matteini, an industrial development consultant at UNIDO.

“UNIDO believes that energy efficiency is and will be of essential importance regarding environment protection, increased productivity and strengthened competitiveness. It can make a difference with respect to productivity and profitability of the industrial companies,” he said urging that partnership and cooperation between involved parties was a necessary precondition for exerting permanent impact.