Renewables

Albania to boost solar, wind capacity by ten times through 2023

Albania to boost solar, wind capacity by ten times through 2023

Photo: American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Published

January 25, 2022

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Published:

January 25, 2022

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Albania’s transmission system operator OST said it expects wind and solar power plants connected to its network to reach a combined 220.4 MW next year or almost ten times more than the current capacity. It also warned investments in flexibility are necessary to prevent potential instability because of the impact of renewable energy on the grid.

Based on the connection requests and the availability forecasts, the capacity of wind and photovoltaic power plants should climb to 220.4 MW in 2023, OST estimated. The company added the transmission grid in Albania may increase the renewables capacity, mostly photovoltaics and excluding hydropower, to 465.4 MW by 2028 and to 915.4 MW by 2033, Monitor.al reported.

The country’s transmission system operator or TSO added the impact of electricity from renewable sources on its grid isn’t small given the projections. The 220.4 MW level is nearly ten times higher than the current installed capacity in Albania.

A large number of applications have been received for wind and solar power plants in the past two years, OST pointed out. There are large possibilities for the deployment of photovoltaics throughout the country, though the lowlands in the west have the highest number of sunny days, according to the report.

There are large possibilities for the deployment of photovoltaics throughout the country, though the lowlands in the west have the highest number of sunny days

OST noted that renewables bring more fluctuations in supply and voltage, adding investment is necessary to offset abrupt interruptions, which occur with changes in the weather.

Flexibility can be bolstered by strengthening the connections within the country and interconnections with its neighbors, adding storage in the form of pumped storage hydropower plants, batteries, capacitors and hydrogen, and developing demand response mechanisms.

Albania depends on hydropower for almost all of its domestically produced electricity, so changes in hydrological conditions often prompt emergency imports.

Of note, Serbian state-owned power utilities recently demanded changes to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources and to halt the adoption of bylaws that enable subsidies for the production of green energy. They claimed the requests for connecting wind farms and solar power plants by 2027 exceed the potential of the transmission and production system to ensure a stable supply.

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