Kosovo raises 2020 solar target, slightly

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Kosovo’s Minister of Economic Development, Valdrin Lluka recently announced he intends to transfer between 100 MW and 120 MW of licenses from hydro, to solar and wind-powered energy, “bearing in mind that there is a greater potential of both foreign and local investors for this type of energy source.”

In his announcement, Lluka said that he will also ensure that licenses for investments in renewable energy projects will be awarded in an open and transparent manner, by means of public auction, in order “to avoid problems caused by licenses with waiting lists.”

The same Lluka announced last November his intention to promote more solar through a new auction mechanism. At the time, the minister said solar auctions may raise investments in the amount of €100 million, without providing further details about the future procurement process, nor the size of projects that may be able to compete.

Later this March, Lluka reiterated his commitment to renewables by urging financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to help; he also approved the construction of a coal power plant.

However, looking at the revised National Renewable Energy Action Plan 2010-2018 (Update 2018-2020), which was submitted for public consultation in August, it appears that the country’s 2020 solar target been raised by just 20 MW, to 30 MW, while the most important share is expected to come from small and medium hydro power plants – with a target of 124.1 MW – and wind farms with total projected capacity of 173.8 MW. This would be enough, according to the Kosovar government, to fulfil the target of 25% renewable energy penetration until 2020.

In the document, the Kosovar government also said it plans to define the new rules for renewable energy auctions in 2019.

The EU urged Kosovo to do more for renewable energies in April of last year. The previous plan for their development, put in place by the government, dates back to the summer of 2016, and includes the addition of just 10 MW of solar power, while targeting around 250 MW of renewables.