Prespa region, Macedonia
The stimulation of investments in renewable energies as well as the larger inclusion of renewable energy sources in the energy consumption are one of the main strategic objectives of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. As a candidate country and future member of the European Union, Republic of Macedonia actively works on compliance with the European legislation, especially in the area of energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy. In order to promote renewable energies in Republic of Macedonia, the country recently joined the Intelligent Energy for Europe Programme. According to the national strategy for alternative energy sources, the needs for using biomass for energy and power production in the Republic of Macedonia are very high. Although Republic of Macedonia has favourable opportunities for the utilization of renewable energy sources including SRC, biomass production is currently very limited. Currently, there are neither planted SRC examples in the target region of Prespa in Municipality of Resen, nor in Republic of Macedonia in general. Municipality of Resen is situated at the south-west part of Republic of Macedonia in the Prespa region. Prespa region is one natural entity spread in three neighbour countries, Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Greece. The largest part is in the Republic of Macedonia which is abundant with natural beauties, Prespa Lake, beautiful mountains, agricultural filds, rich flora and fauna with endemic examples of birds, herbs and trees. There is a great cultural heritage, plenty of rich traditions, history and hospitality of Macedonian people. The Municipality of Resen has 17,000 inhabitants and the largest town is Resen with 9,000 inhabitants. Main occupations of the inhabitants are agricultural production, most production of apples and some other fruits like cherries, plums and pears and developing rural tourism. The region was selected due to its high agricultural potential to grow SRC. The SRCplus project will contribute with its activities to build the capacities for planting and growing SRC in Republic of Macedonia and especially in the Macedonian part of Prespa region. The SRCplus project will disseminate good practice examples which is crucial for for the SRC market development in Republic of Macedonia.