Kosovo marks the International Day for Energy
Prishtina, 22 October 2015 - Marking the International Day for Energy, Balkan Green Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) and under the auspices of the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID), organized a roundtable discussion on the topic of “Developing the Potential for Renewable Energy.” The panelists included Visar Azemi, KOSID Coordinator, Rinora Gojani, senior research at INDEP, Besa Zogaj Gashi, Deputy Minister of Economic Development (MZHE), Ymer Dullaj, owner of EKO FARM, and Gazmend Haxholli, director of J.v.G Jaha Energy. The focus of the discussion remained on the conditions, procedures, and potential for investing in a range of renewable energy sources in Kosovo, as well as the required steps to lessen the economic burden of those seeking to use renewable energy in Kosovo.
The Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Besa Zogaj Gashi, stressed the priority of the ministry to lessen the procedural burdens with regard to obtaining licenses under the sponsorship of the initiative “One Stop Shop” for renewable energy sources; indeed, this has been identified as an important matter in the “Doing Business” evaluation conducted previously in Kosovo. Mr Haxholli, the director of Jaha Energy, the first company expected to produce solar panels in Kosovo, expressed concern in particular with the long procedures and waiting times associated with gaining a license, which are counter-productive and shying away foreign investors.
Correspondingly, during the roundtable it was also stressed that there is an exigency for projects and/or supportive schemes that strengthen and help the private sector companies utilizing biomass as a measure to produce energy, as is the case with EKO FARM. Such measures would contribute to the production of solar panels and subsequently lower the total energy consumption in Kosovo.
Among the main recommendations was an emphasis on what the Government’s role and decisions should be beyond 2020, in a manner to foreshadow and allow businesses to invest in renewable energy sources as well as fulfill investments in areas where there is the largest demand but also potential for sustainability. Further recommendations included awareness raising in order to promote collective investment in solar power, as is the case in many corners of the world. Another recommendation focused on uplifting barriers set by KEDS for renewable energy producers – private or public – to connect with the grid as well as setting of feed-in tariffs for small private energy producers. During the discussion, the need to harmonize renewable energy legislation and functionalize this in practice was emphasized.