Energy Crisis

Kosovo* adopts emergency measures to secure electricity supply

Kosovo emergency measures secure electricity supply

Photo: Raisa Milova on Unsplash

Published

August 5, 2022

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Published:

August 5, 2022

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Kosovo* introduced emergency measures for up to 180 days in the electricity supply sector because of the surge in power prices in Europe. The parliament backed the proposition to help households secure heating, ban cryptocurrency mining, urge all institutions to save electricity and authorize transmission system operator KOSTT to take necessary action for maintaining the stability of the electric power system.

Members of parliament in Prishtina approved the government’s decision to secure electricity supply through emergency measures, which enable faster decision making in the sector. The opposition didn’t back the motion, but it didn’t vote against it, either, so it was adopted with 61 votes in favor out of 120 seats, none against and no abstentions.

Minister of Economy Artane Rizvanolli pointed to the surge in power prices in the European market and added it can be expected that some countries would stop exporting electricity in the winter. The new measures enable the limitation of supply for 60 days and the Assembly of Kosovo* can prolong them for 30 days at a time for up to 180 days in total.

EUR 90 million left unspent

The government said it would help citizens secure heating and authorize the Transmission, System and Market Operator (KOSTT) to undertake necessary actions to maintain the stability of the electric power system. With the new measures, all institutions will need to save electricity and cryptocurrency mining is banned.

Assemblyman Ferat Shala from the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) said EUR 90 million from the previous measures to secure electricity supply haven’t been spent and urged the government to release a report about the results. Others criticized the proposition for just issuing recommendations and failing to allocate any funds.

Coal plants are planned for reconstruction

The previous state of energy emergency was introduced for 60 days on December 24 and prolonged for another month.

The only coal-fired thermal power plants, Kosovo A and Kosovo B, suffered a series of outages late last year, resulting in the introduction of rolling blackouts. The two facilities provide more than 90% of domestic electricity. Two units in each plant are planned to be reconstructed.

Similar breakdowns happened last winter in Serbia and North Macedonia, which also rely heavily on lignite.

Kosovo* has expressed interest in investing in a gas power plant project in Albania to ease its dependence on imports of electricity at market prices.

* 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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