The main focus of investments in the energy sector until 2031 will be on renewable energy, Minister of Economy of Kosovo* Artane Rizvanolli said. She revealed there are no plans for a new coal-fired thermal power plant but that the existing two require investments.
According to Minister of Economy Artane Rizvanolli, the initial draft of the energy strategy of Kosovo* for the period 2022-2031 will be published by mid-April. Speaking on Klan Kosova TV, she said renewable energy would be given priority and that the document doesn’t envisage new coal-fired power plants, as quoted by Kosovo.Energy.
However, it is necessary to invest in the Kosova B coal plant, Rizvanolli pointed out. The facility’s two units were commissioned in 1983 and 1984. The minister added there would be discussions soon about the potential upgrade of one or two units of Kosova A. The three functional units there were built between 1970 and 1975.
Risks from aging coal plants
Government-controlled Kosovo Energy Corp. (KEK) intends to reconstruct Kosova B and install a system for cutting nitrogen oxide emissions to levels that would comply with European regulations. The renewed plan for the reconstruction of Kosova A is controversial as the World Bank and the European Commission have long been urging for it to be closed.
Rizvanolli said the public consultation process regarding the energy strategy until 2031 would last one month.
The energy crisis took a heavy toll on Kosovo*, which earlier imposed rolling outages due to high electricity import costs and the system’s instability. Like in Serbia and North Macedonia, aging state-owned coal plants suffered a series of outages in the past several months, which even affected the European transmission system.
No progress in energy sector
The minister acknowledged that managing the energy crisis with two old thermal power plants was very difficult. Rizvanolli said nothing great has been done in the field of energy, that some decisions have been wrong and that in other cases no decisions have been made at all.
Only the countries that produce a sufficient amount of electricity for domestic consumption and are also able to export have suffered less in the energy crisis, Rizvanolli stressed and pointed to Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Government of Kosovo* so far spent or earmarked EUR 120 million to help the energy sector and households cope with extremely expensive power imports and secure the stability of supply, she said.