Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku attributed the 6.7% drop in electricity consumption to the surge in electricity generation capacity for self-consumption and the reduction in distribution losses.
The official statistical report for the first half of the year showed a 6.7% slump in electricity consumption in Albania from the same period in 2022, to 3.97 TWh. The non-household category, consisting of companies and government institutions, saw a 10.4% drop to 1.49 TWh.
Reacting to criticism that the data indicate a decrease in economic activity, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku claimed it was misinformation. It was the goal all along to lower electricity consumption and it was achieved through “joint sacrifices of the citizens and the government,” she pointed out.
Weakening electricity consumption is result of government’s energy strategy
Balluku noted that the authorities have a strategy to diversify energy sources and stressed that their energy efficiency policy has yielded its first results. Businesses and households have more than 120 MW overall installed in electricity generation capacity for self-consumption, the deputy prime minister revealed. In March, prosumers had a total of 102 MW installed.
Losses in the electricity distribution network were reduced by 8.1% in the first half of 2023 on an annual basis
The government in Tirana is supporting both segments, Balluku underscored and highlighted the subsidy scheme for solar thermal collectors and the upper capacity limit for businesses for photovoltaics of 500 kW. Albania’s distribution system operator OSHEE also deserves credit, for reducing technical and nontechnical losses in the network, in her view.
National statistical office INSTAT said distribution losses were reduced by 8.1% in the first six months of the year from the same period of 2022, to 773 GWh. At the same time, losses in the transmission system jumped 15.2% to 119 GWh.
Power demand in EU fell 4.6%
Albania is almost 100% dependent on hydropower plants as it still has no wind farms while solar power deployment is relatively slow. It can’t yet meet domestic demand, so droughts and the energy crisis from 2021 until last winter have devastated state finances because imports were extremely expensive.
In comparison, electricity demand in the European Union declined by 4.6% in the first half on an annual basis, to 1.27 PWh, think tank Ember said in its latest report. The level was the lowest since 2008 for the current member states. The authors attributed the drop to high energy prices but also to emergency measures and a mild winter.