The companies can achieve a significant financial and environmental benefits with the concept for transition from fossil energy to renewable sources.

At the end of 2021, the national team for implementation of SEEtheSkills have organized the constitutive meeting of the National Advisory Board of the project. This external consultative body was set up to address the critical recruitment phase of end users for the future exploitation of the project results. North Macedonia’s National Advisory Board involves 14 national institutions representing project main stakeholders, such as governmental bodies, members of academy, related research institutions, concerned business companies, training institutions, different consumer associations, retailers, regulators and related associations, including the 3 relevant ministries (Ministry of economy, Ministry of transport and communications and the Ministry of education and science), then the Employment service agency of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Center for economic research (CER)-UKIM and the Civil engineering institute Macedonia Skopje as main research institutes for construction, one of the biggest companies in the energy and construction sector (AD Окта and AD Granit), E&T authorities and institutions (Center for vocational education and training, Adult education center, Chamber of crafts, Skopje and the Faculty of electrical engineering and information technologies FEEIT) and relevant professional associations (Engineering Institution of Macedonia and ZBK Kreacija).

At the constitutive meeting of North Macedonia’s National Advisory Board held on 28. 12. 2021 in Skopje, Dr. Risto Janevski, the Director for Strategic Planning & Development of AD Okta, was elected President of this body, to act as a focal actor to drive promotion of energy skills, their value and triggered benefit

Asked about his opinion on the role that RES could have in protecting the environment and increasing energy efficiency he said: No one should neglect the role of renewables anymore. Renewables are becoming part of the present, but also of the future, especially now when the price of electricity from these sources becomes competitive with the price of electricity from other conventional sources.

The company AD OKTA as part of the HELPE Group, in a core business is an oil company, but it is expanding its portfolio as a modern energy company, with the production of electricity from renewable sources. Mr. Janevski as a leader of this process, shares his positive experience and encourages other companies to become part of the electricity market: Based on the analyzes made and the current situation with electricity in the country, we decided on the concept of distributed producers from renewable sources. Namely, the idea is to select small and medium industrial companies that consume a lot of electricity in their production process, but which also consume oil derivatives and other energy sources (firewood, coal). The concept envisages investment in photovoltaic power plants for electricity production, parallel to sustainable energy management in companies, which will contribute to greater energy efficiency, ie reducing energy losses of companies. In any case, the replacement of coal, firewood or fuel oil with electricity from renewable sources, also contributes to the protection of the environment in the places where these companies operate.

Introducing changes regarding the replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is not an easy and simple act. There are many preconditions and requirements to be analyzed and meet in order to successfully make this transition. How can a project like SEEtheSkills contribute to these goals?

However, just investing and building a photovoltaic plant and putting it into operation does not mean that we are fully competitive with other conventional sources. To be competitive in this segment, the first condition is to have a well-thought-out and comprehensive concept of energy management, regardless of its type.The second condition for this concept to succeed is the fulfillment of the legal regulations in the field of production of electricity from renewable sources, electricity supply, supply of liquid fuels and natural gas. OKTA has appropriate licenses issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission for all previously listed energy activities. The third, but not less important, condition for the success of this concept is to have a well-trained and qualified professional team.

Here I can see the inviolable contribution of projects like SEEtheSkills in creating the necessary environment to enable all these process to be feasible. SEEtheSkills will have a crucial role in gathering the  professionals in the sector within a single platform for exchange of experiences and knowledge, but more important for communication on common issues. It will enable visibility of experienced and competent  professionals, will act through proposal of legislation changes to boost market demand and finally will provide necessary skills for successful implementation of the above.

The project SEEtheSkills has energy skills in construction as a target, meaning that all construction phases and measures toward energy efficiency are subject of intervention. Where do you put the highest possible impact on the European climate goals?
The team has identified over 500 sources of information relevant to the EE skills. The research has been comprehensive, as the content comes from various countries, projects, universities, training organisations, recruiters, and others. Some key findings address the challenges related to the transition of EE skills from national to inter-regional level, due to methodological differences, language The European Union and the international community set an ambitious goals to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, which, in other words, means achieving a balance between CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and the natural absorption of released CO2. As the EU raises its climate ambition and differences in levels of ambition worldwide persist, especially with increased risk of carbon leakage very soon different mechanisms will be implemented to achieve the set goals. One way to achieve climate neutrality would be to offset emissions by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, or other pure low carbon technology. In my opinion the biggest energy consumers and thus with highest carbon footprint are the huge industrial capacities, and so to pursuit of these goals, adding to their energy activities the production of electricity from renewable sources and the supply and management of energy, can bring a notifiable change.