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Montenegro’s Power Exports Soar, Marking a Strategic Shift

Montenegro has achieved a remarkable feat in its energy sector, with electricity exports reaching a staggering €190 million from January to October this year. This impressive figure accounts for 35% of the nation's total exports, highlighting a strategic shift in its economic landscape.

The Balkan nation has successfully distributed its electrical energy across various European countries, with Bosnia and Herzegovina topping the list at €50 million, followed closely by Serbia and Slovenia at €42 million each. Montenegro’s electrical reach extended even further, to nations such as the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Hungary, and Denmark.

Electricity has emerged as Montenegro’s most significant strategic product, contributing approximately 4% to the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year.

The country’s expected electricity production for the year is estimated at 4,000 GWh, surpassing the planned amount by about 400 GWh or 11%. This increase is primarily due to a nearly 17% rise in hydroelectric power production, growing from the projected 1,842 GWh to 2,150 GWh. Additionally, the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant exceeded expectations, generating 1,500 GWh against a planned 1,387 GWh.

Wind farms are projected to produce 312 GWh, slightly lower than the anticipated 5%, while solar power plants have reached 20 GWh, only half of what was expected.

The total domestic consumption for the year is estimated at 3,160 GWh, with distribution consumers accounting for 2,600 GWh and direct consumers 98 GWh. Transmission and distribution network losses are estimated at 470 GWh.

For the upcoming year, the Energy Balance estimates a total production of 3,600 GWh, with consumption forecasted at 3,110 GWh. Hydroelectric plants are expected to contribute 1,850 GWh, aligning with average annual production levels. The Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant is set to produce 1,310 GWh, while the Krnovo and Možura wind farms are projected to generate 326 GWh, and solar power plants 104 GWh.

A significant increase in solar energy production is planned, nearly 30 times higher than the 3.8 GWh generated two years ago. The energy balance for the next year anticipates the continuation of the Solar 5,000+ project, the launch of a new distribution solar power plant, and two plants owned by Elektroprivreda Slano and Vrtac.

Of the total expected hydroelectric power, Perućica is set to produce the most at 920 GWh, followed by Piva at 750 GWh, and 37 small hydroelectric plants, owned by the state-owned EPCG and private companies, at 183 GWh.

In 2024, more than half of the electric energy, around 51%, is planned to be generated from hydroelectric plants, 37% from the Thermal Power Plant, 9% from wind farms, and 3% from solar plants.

According to monthly production balances, the Thermal Power Plant is the most stable source, expected to generate around 130 GWh monthly, except during its routine maintenance in May and June.

Hydroelectric production varies from 52 GWh in September to 208 GWh in March, while wind farms fluctuate from 19 GWh in June and August to 38 GWh in March. Solar power plants show even greater variations in monthly production, with just 2 GWh in January, peaking at 16 GWh in July.

These figures underscore the critical role of the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant in ensuring the stability of Montenegro’s power system. Without it, the country would face a significant energy deficit of 800 gigawatt-hours instead of a surplus.

The ecological reconstruction of the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant is set to be completed in 2025, during which it will be offline for eight months. This period will lead to a substantial shortfall in Montenegro’s energy production.

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