High level conference on Energy Transition in Kosovo was held
Pristina, September 18, 2019 - In the framework of Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW), Balkan Green Foundation and the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) organized the discussion with the theme "Energy for the Future". During this conference specific focus was given about the overall energy situation in Kosovo, the challenges, general directions, the development trends, energy efficiency, renewables, the potentials but also challenges in this sector including the successes achieved in the energy transition.
On this day, special emphasis was given to the importance of regional cooperation and the transition of the energy sector from high dependence on coal to greater use of renewable energy sources. The discussion panels contributed to a better understanding of the economic potential, the aspect of technical feasibility, and policies needed to develop the transition to a sustainable future of the country's power system.
The German Ambassador to Kosovo, Mr. Christian Heldt held the opening remarks stating that "The energy transition is a large-scale problem that even Germany itself is facing." Whereas, Valdrin Lluka Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development, in his opening speech among other things said that: “By 2030 Kosovo should have at least 32% of renewable energy in its total energy consumption, based on the new commitments. But biomass energy that has so far been an important part of our renewables is problematic and can even lead to deforestation." Further, the Executive Director of the Institute for Development Policy - INDEP, Mr. Burim Ejupi expressed his enthusiasm for the fact that the concept of energy transition is becoming a part of the political agenda in Kosovo compared to 10 years ago - when the discussion was on whether there should be renewable energy sources in Kosovo or not.
Given that we are in a time of elections, KSDW dedicated a panel to political parties to unveil their plans for the development of the energy sector. Although all parties/coalitions were invited, only two representatives of political parties were present in the debate: Self-determination Movement (LVV!) and the Social Democratic Party/Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (PSD-AAK). Dardan Sejdiu of PSD/AAK criticized the commercial contract for the construction of the new power plant. Whereas Hekuran Murati from LVV!, stressed that according to his party, Kosova A power plant should be reconstructed and that there should be no new power-plant in Kosovo at all. On the other hand Mr. Visar Azemi from BGF, as moderator of the session, said that as part of the energy transition, Kosovo should move away from coal and invest much more in renewable energy, especially now that the price of energy from these sources is constantly falling. Mr. Azemi was disappointed that the political parties in the country were still not moving away from their plans for coal-fired power.
The conference was then followed by two panels of experts and relevant stakeholders in the energy field. The first panel discussed the benefits of an integrated regional energy market, and the second panel on RES integration in Kosovo.
During these discussions, the importance of decarbonization and the importance of investments in energy efficiency and RES were highlighted; the need to adopt policies that are favorable to the integration of RES, especially solar energy; and also the issue of regional and European integration by not jeopardizing market liberalization by building new capacities from fossil fuels, but by reducing them. A good example in the region is the recent decision of the Government of Montenegro, which abandoned the construction of the second block of the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant for the sake of the environment and sustainable development.
The Kosovo Sustainable Development Week is organized for the second time in the country as a collaboration between Balkan Green Foundation, INDEP, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, the European Union Special Representative in Kosovo/European Union Office, and the German International Cooperation Organization (GIZ) on behalf of the German Government.