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Energy efficiency fund should be top priority

Published

September 21, 2015

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Published:

September 21, 2015

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Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) said it organised the round table ‘Funding Energy Efficiency in Kosovo* – Benefits and Barriers’ in collaboration with the Kosovo* Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID). A policy paper that was presented highlights the current state of affairs of the energy sector and positions energy efficiency as a top priority. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has financed the round table.

In his opening speech, Blerand Stavileci, minister of economic development, said the government has two primary objectives with regard to the energy sector: a sustainable supply of energy and affordable energy prices for all consumers. A core element of the above, he pointed out, is the implementation of energy efficiency measures. The minister also mentioned two specific projects – financed by World Bank and German KfW Development Bank – that have sought to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings. Subsequently, he pointed out that an energy efficiency fund would be a more suitable alternative to cover the residential, commercial and private sectors.

Visar Azemi, Kosid’s coordinator, said the notion of such a fund has existed for quite some time but that it did not have sufficient institutional backing. He further expressed that the benefits from investments in energy efficiency measures are manifold, ranging from sustainable economic development and job creation to environmental protection and climate mitigation. Azemi highlighted the establishment of an energy efficiency fund must be a priority of the government and the energy sector.

During the presentation of Indep’s paper, Gent Ahmetaj, one of the authors, highlighted it contains recommendations on how to operationalize an energy efficiency fund in Kosovo’s* context. Among other things, Indep recommends for the fund to be revolving. The creation of the fund would precipitate two immediate mechanisms: to deliver energy efficiency services and to monitor and evaluate the savings.

With 67% of households with no insulated roofs, 52% with no double-glazed windows, and 69% living in privation without insulated walls, there is a clear exigency to capitalize on the energy efficiency gap in Kosovo*, the study shows. If the public sector with its buildings and institutional infrastructure cannot abide and maintain a minimum standard of energy efficiency, it is unreasonable to expect that wider society will promote or implement energy efficient measures, the authors conclude. Grants are most useful in cases where the population is struggling. Still, it is not a sustainable model that could be maintained indefinitely as it involves only a non-reimbursable payment. With that in mind, spearheading energy efficiency projects into practice can be achieved through the combined use of preferential loans, grants, and energy performance contracting, the paper notes.

The conclusions and recommendations are based on a literature survey of 75 legal, academic, and country-case documents. States extensively covered are Croatia, United Kingdom, Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania. Each case was structured to yield a lesson, a good practice, or possibly a route towards the establishment of an energy efficiency measure, market, or project. Still, not all practical lessons learned are applicable to the case of Kosovo*.

THE POLICY PAPER CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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