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Strengthening Energy Security and Resilience in Southeast Europe and Eurasia

Photo credit: USAID EC-LEDS

The USAID Connect for Growth Project (C4G) is helping countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia diversify their energy sources and secure a more reliable and sustainable energy supply.


Ensure a more reliable, affordable, secure, and sustainable energy supply in Southeast and Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.


Strengthen regional integration of energy markets, help countries improve their energy security and transition to clean energy, and improve the overall performance and resilience of the energy sector.


Improved energy governance, increased investment in the energy sector, and accelerated clean energy transition for the region.

Countries in Southeast and Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus share common challenges to energy security and resilience, such as small and fragmented energy markets, lack of diversification, aging infrastructure, and limited access to financing. Russia’s war in Ukraine has further exacerbated these challenges and made energy security a paramount priority in the region.

The USAID Connect for Growth (C4G) Project is part of a regional USAID effort, the U.S.-Europe Energy Bridge, to strengthen ties between the countries of Southeast and Eastern Europe, as well as those of the South Caucasus, with each other and European Union (EU) member countries. This five-year project (2021–2026) targets support in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

To improve connectivity and cooperation among these countries, the project is helping them:

  • Develop their energy markets and integrate regionally to boost efficiency and attract greater investment into the sector.
  • Diversify energy sources and transition to more sustainable sources that reduce dependence on those controlled by maligned actors.
  • Strengthen the resilience of the energy sector through infrastructure and utility improvements and crisis management.

Integrating regional energy markets

Regional integration enables more efficient use of energy resources along with greater security and resilience. It can also attract more investment into the sector. C4G focuses on strengthening collaboration and trading between countries across the region. The Project is supporting the first market coupling by Western Balkan countries between Albania and Kosovo by helping launch day ahead electricity markets and providing training to market participants on how to operate in new energy trading environments. The Project also assessed opportunities for strengthening cross-border collaboration and trading between Türkiye and Georgia. Now, the Project is supporting electricity market integration between EU and non-EU countries.

Assessing power markets’ potential and risks

The C4G project assessed the challenges and opportunities for further developing national power markets across the Western Balkans and integrating neighboring markets. In Albania, the Project completed an additional study of offshore wind resources and shared findings and recommendations with the Government of Albania to inform future offshore wind development.

In response to the war in Ukraine, the Project also assessed winter energy risks and crisis planning in the Western Balkans as well as South Caucuses and Moldova. The project also assessed the impacts of U.S. and EU sanctions on Russian energy and identified both short-term and long-term recommendations to mitigate potential disruptions to supply.

Strengthening utilities for energy resilience

Energy resilience requires strong utilities that can operate even amid shocks and stresses. C4G is helping utilities improve their operations and adopt effective business and crisis planning techniques and tools.

In Albania, the Project provided in-depth training on energy trading to a major electricity generator to build staff capacity to maintain the company’s competitiveness and viability amid market deregulation. In Moldova, C4G is assisting a state-run energy enterprise develop its gas and electricity trading functions while supporting it to become a regional player in the energy sector. In 2022, the project supported the mobilization of a €300 million financing facility from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that provided funds for the diversification of natural gas supply, allowing the country to pivot away from Russian-sourced natural gas.

Learn more about RTI’s work in energy and in the region.