Kosovo announces auction scheme for solar

Kosovo’s Minister of Economic Development Valdrin Lluka has announced that his ministry will start to grant licenses for large-scale solar projects in the near future, and that projects will be selected through an auction mechanism.

Lluka added that he believes this new auction mechanism may raise investments in solar in Kosovo in the amount of around €100 million. No more details were given about the future procurement process, nor on the size of projects that may be able to compete. If implemented, the future auction scheme will be the first serious effort of the local government to make solar part of the country’s energy mix.

In its long-term energy strategy, the expected addition of renewable capacities is 240 MW, just 10 MW of which is expected to come from solar PV. Under the FIT program run by the Ministry of Agriculture, 101 PV systems totaling 77 kW were installed in 2014, while another 135 installations with a combined capacity of 364 kW came online in 2015.

The European Commission has recently urged Kosovo to do more for the development of renewable energies. The EC said that the energy reforms recently implemented by the local government are not sufficient to improve the country’s troubled power market, which still relies heavily on coal and electricity imports.

According to the EC, Kosovo’s energy market suffers from outdated production capacity, as well as low energy efficiency, a non-liberalized energy market and a tariff system that does not reflect real costs. Kosovo, however, has a considerable solar potential with an average of 278 sunny days and 2000 hours of sun per year.

With 2 million inhabitants, Kosovo is still a disputed land between Republic of Serbia, which claims it as its own territory, and the Republic of Kosovo. Currently, 111 out of 193 member states of the United Nations have recognized Kosovo as an independent state.