“Challenges and Opportunities in Kosovo and the region” discussed on a high level conference
31 October 2018, Prishtina – Balkan Green Foundation and Germanwatch organized a Conference on Energy Transition with the theme “Challenges and Opportunities in Kosovo and the region” where challenges, strategies of policies and the way towards an Energy Transition in Kosovo and the region were discussed.
Visar Azemi, the Executive Director of Balkan Green Foundation, on the opening of the conference said that the energy transition is a global phenomenon from which Kosovo is not remote. “We have learned about energy transition from our German friends, who have showed that energy transition is possible and now we are working together on exploring the opportunities that Kosovo has on this field. Kosovo has large potentials in solar energy and that of wind, therefore investments in renewable sources needs to be accelerated,” said Azemi.
Part of the conference was also Valdrin Lluka, Minister of Economic Development, Christian Heldt the German Ambassador in Kosovo and Riccardo Serri, Chief Officer of the Sector on Policy, Economy and European Integration in the EU Office in Kosovo, who spoke and discussed the way towards a prosperous and sustainable future of the energy sector in Kosovo and the region. During their speeches it was noted that the security of supply is of utmost importance, as is the affordability of the prices from the citizens, the protection of the environment, and the integration of renewable sources in the energy system – working thus in the achievement of an energy transition in Kosovo and the region.
The conference was divided into two discussion panels. In the first panel there was a debate on the importance of the integration of the renewable sources in the energy system, by reviewing the policies that encourage energy efficiency and the transition from coal towards renewable sources – which are essential in the achievement of an energy transition in Kosovo and the region. During these discussions it was stated that the transition in energy is not only thought simply in the substitution of the energy sources, but also in a social transition, by switching from a centralized energy system into one where the citizens and the consumers are at the center of the development of the energy sector. This panel consisted of officials from the Ministry of Economic Development, DG ENER, Balkan Green Foundation, the Secretariat of the Energy Community and GIZ.
While the following panel analyzed the challenges and the opportunities of investing in the energy sector from the economic perspective, law, the available technology and potential investors. Additionally, the panelists discussed on the priorities of the countries of the Western Balkans, including the implementation of the Third Energy Package and the market integration at the regional level, as well as to the European markets. Part of this panel were representatives from the Kosovo TSO - KOSTT, Energy Regulatory Office, Germanwatch, Agora Energiewende, Kosovo Energy Efficiency Agency and from SOWI Kosovo.
Present in the conference were also representatives of local and international institutions, civil society, national and international experts, professors and students, who contributed actively in the specific discussions in addressing the issues of common interest in Kosovo’s path for the development and transition of energy.
During the discussions with the participants, it was noted that while taking into account that the region is very dependent on fossil fuels it is important that energy development agendas prioritize the diversification of the sources of energy, having sustainability, reliability and affordability as cornerstones of their policies on energy.