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Kosovo embarks on path to renewables


Kosovo embarks on path to renewables

Although the Balkan country has recently given approval to the construction of a new coal power plant, its Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj has now announced that he intends to open the energy market to solar and wind power, an action that was recommended by the EU a year earlier.

“We know and feel the obligation and responsibility we have towards generations to be oriented and focus on renewable energy. Kosovo is more aware if there is a people, a country, and an economy that understands the importance of renewable energy, first comes the country that is coal-based and we know the difference. No one is more alert than us. We have given priority to alternative and renewable energy, we are open to the market both for wind power and solar energy, we welcome new developments and new proposals for the possibility of investing in solar energy, at a greater capacity and remain open to all ideas for renewable energy.”

These statements were provided by Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj at a forum on in Energy Infrastructure that was organized by the local Ministry of Economic Development in cooperation with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an event which was also attended, among others, by Christian Heldt, the head of the Political, Economic and European Integration, EU Office in Kosovo, and the Deputy Director and Legal Advisor to the Energy Community Secretariat, Dirk Buschle.

In order to attract investments in the renewable energy sector, Haradinaj has also urged financial institutions such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to provide support, in order to enable the country to “go for a new technology and no longer depend on the old technology”.

Although no specific information was provided on when and how solar and wind power projects will be developed, the official commitment of Haradinaj towards renewable energies has to be finally welcomed, as these may provide cheap and scalable solutions to a country with a strong need of increasing its power generating assets. On the other hand, the most recent action taken by the Kosovo government to tackle this issue was the construction of a new coal power plant, the ‘Kosova e Re’ Power Plant, which was approved by late December.

The project consists of an upgrade of the 27-year old lignite-fired Kosovo B Power Station (540 MW) in Obilić, an investment which is also being considered necessary by the EU in order to replace and close the 40-year old Kosovo A Power Station (345 MW) near Pristina.

The EU had urged Kosovo to do more for renewable energies in April of last year. The most recent plan for renewable energy development put in place by the Kosovar government dates back to last summer and included the addition of only 10 MW of solar power, while targeting around 250 MW of renewables.

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