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NATO Academy 2020 - Energy Security: How (In)dependent are we? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 December 2020 13:49

On 26th of November, 2020, as part of the NATO Academy 2020, a lecture was held on the topic: "Energy Security: How (In)dependent are we?" with Mr. Viktor Andonov, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia and member of ATA Macedonia Presidency. Due to the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with the recommendations of the state and health authorities, this lecture was held online through the ZOOM platform.

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The lecture was opened by Mr. Ilija Djugumanov from ATA Presidency, after which Mr. Andonov began his presentation by explaining the terms and continued with a brief historical overview of the topic.

He added that climate change, globalization, the uncertain future of fossil fuels and energy poverty, among other, have contributed to the vulnerability of critical energy infrastructure in the 21st century, which raises the question of how to protect it, i.e. how to achieve energy security, as defined by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as uninterrupted availability of energy resources at "permissible" prices.

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The next topic in the focus of the presentation of Mr. Viktor Andonov was Energy Security in the context of NATO. Thus, he mentioned the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008 as a turning point for energy security, a Summit at which the Allies finally identified moving principles and possible options and recommendations for future action that gave the Alliance clearer guidance on this topic. He also spoke about the 2010 Strategic Concept, which created the Energy Security Section of NATO. Finally, at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, the Allies emphasized the importance of energy security as part of our common security.

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According to Mr. Andonov, there is a great dependence of NATO and EU members on Russian gas. As he said, one of the main challenges for NATO’s energy security is definitely the Nord Stream 2 project, which should directly connect Germany and Russia. As Mr. Andonov stated: "The EU dependence on energy in 2018 was 58%, which means that more than half of its needs are imported outside the Union. The most imported products are oil derivatives (including crude oil), accounting for 2/3 of the total energy imports, followed by gas (24%) and solid fuels (8%). "The stability of EU supply could be jeopardized if a high percentage of imports is concentrated from several countries, and the EU supplies most of its energy needs from Russia," said Mr Andonov. He continued: "The general strategy of the EU refers to moderating energy consumption, building a functioning market for electricity and natural gas, i.e. increasing domestic energy production within the EU."

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Finally, Mr. Andonov referred to the situation in the country on this topic and pointed out that the Republic of North Macedonia is a contracting party of the Energy Community and as a candidate for EU membership is ready to follow the European Energy Policy, and undertakes to implement the Directives and EU Regulations on this matter. He also noted that the Republic of North Macedonia is import dependent on energy, i.e. that all quantities of oil derivatives and natural gas are imported, part of solid fuels and significant quantities of electricity, and the total amount of natural gas comes from one point through Bulgaria from Gazprom, Russia. He stressed that the main challenge is to diversify the gas supply, i.e. to provide a second connection point for natural gas from Azerbaijan, through the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) pipeline that passes through Greece. The implementation of this strategic project will significantly improve energy security in the supply of natural gas, will further reduce electricity consumption due to the transfer of consumers from electricity to natural gas, but will also increase the need for new investments in power plants that will operate on natural gas.

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The participants showed great interest in this topic by asking questions and were active in the discussion that developed in the second part of the lecture.

This project is supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

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