Energy Crisis

Low water levels paralyze hydropower plants in Albania

Albania power saving measures lack water hydropower plants

Photo: Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Published

March 21, 2022

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

March 21, 2022

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

Albania extended a national holiday for a day as demand for electricity outstripped domestic production and low water levels paralyzed hydropower plants across the country.

Albanian government officials called on citizens to save electricity and fuel to ease the financial burden from imports. The Balkan country is in a state of energy emergency since October. It has been heavily impacted by the energy crisis as almost all its domestic power production comes from hydropower plants. Currently there is a lack of water even though the facilities should start working at full scale at this time of the year.

There has been no rain and low temperatures are preventing the ice in the mountains from melting. Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku said domestic demand for power exceeded output. It means Albania must turn to imports at a time when electricity prices are skyhigh.

Lights out at midnight

The levels of water in reservoirs at the river Drin (Drim), where the three largest hydroelectric plants are located, have been dropping, especially at the Fierza facility. Only two hydropower plants are still working there, according to Balluku.

The government said public institutions including schools would remain closed today ahead of tomorrow’s national holiday and ordered public lights to be turned off at midnight. In addition, there will be no lighting on several main roads in Albania and municipal authorities have been instructed to save power.

“We will need to consume as little energy as possible, so as not to run out of it,” Balluku pointed out and said the government would protect households and small businesses. She promised there would be no rise in power prices, but that citizens must understand they must save.

New subsidies for public transportation

The minister earlier said the oil tax wouldn’t be abolished. On the other hand, the government earmarked EUR 4.1 million for public transportation to avoid a rise in fares. Balluku urged citizens against driving to get bread and other groceries.

State-owned power producer KESH revealed last month it would take a floating thermal power plant on lease from Excelerate Energy from the United States and Renco from Italy. Projects for wind and solar power plants are slow.

A spike in market-based electricity prices combined with droughts resulted in record imports of just over EUR 285 million last year.

The local media reported that police detained protesters and used violent force last week in Tirana as citizens gathered to voice discontent against a 50% rise in fuel prices and a surge in food prices.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

European heat pump sales drop 2023 layoffs

European heat pump sales drop in 2023, resulting in layoffs

29 February 2024 - Heat pump sales tumbled 4.7% last year in 14 countries tracked by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA)

BiH entities set establishment of power exchange as priority

BiH entities agree that establishing power exchange is priority

29 February 2024 - Energy ministers Petar Đokić from the Republic of Srpska and Vedran Lakić from the Federation of BiH have met in Banja Luka

OMV Petrom EU funding two green hydrogen plants

OMV Petrom obtains EU funding for two green hydrogen plants

29 February 2024 - OMV Petrom is stepping up its decarbonization efforts with projects for two green hydrogen production units at its Petrobrazi refinery

Kacır Turkey is No 1 producer of solar panels in Europe

Kacır: Turkey is No. 1 producer of solar panels in Europe

29 February 2024 - Turkey will continue incentives for renewables and roll out an emissions trading system, Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır said