Analysis by Dr Lorenc Gordani
Legal Advisor in Albanian Energy Market
In this presentation, I will concentrate in highlights of the main short action plans and long-term strategy on the energy sector, for helping the understanding of the complexity, the challenging and the opportunity them opens toward the Albanian in its energy transition road.
I. The energy transition opens to alternative resources in Albania
An overview of the latest updates on renewable
The Albanian energy market is undergoing a full restructuring process and a deep renovation. The above profound energy transition, in the renewable sector, has been lately crowned with the approval of the new Consolidated National Action Plan on Renewable Energy Sources 2019-2020. The action plan already in force by the 19 September 2019, which rises the support capacity available by 738 MW mostly base to alternative renewable in the wind and photovoltaic.
RES-E Expanding with Photovoltaic (PV)
The more evident aspect of this deep renovation has to do with approving of the measures for the connection to the distribution system of small photovoltaic installation, with the net metering scheme, for the self-producers of electricity from solar, without the payment of any cost for the use of the grid, approved along with July 2019.
In more, the installations of the first photovoltaic parks by 2 MW have already taken place. Actual capacity already build has reached 24 MW, and their contributions up to October 2019 resulted in 0.45% of national production. An outcome which has been accelerated with the approve the new NREAP 2019-2020 in August and enter in force in the period of September that rises the PV capacity planned form 120 MW to 490 MW.
Energy transition also based on contributions of the wind
A shred of factual evidence toward alternative renewables that it is also confirmed by the last month’s updates notices, dominated by the presentations at the Ministry of the Infrastructure and Energy of new proposes in wind projects. A tendency that was driven by the rise of new target approved with the NREAP up to 2020 that passed the wind-planned capacity from 70 MW to 150 MW within 2020.
Starting period of valorisation of the local particularities
In more, the energy market deep renovation on the renewable energies is seeing even the turning attention also toward the local peculiarities. A change of approach on the renewable that aims the diversification similar to the development in the rest of Balkan. A tendency that was finalized in the ambitious new NREAP that see to rise of the support for the biomass passing from 8 MW to 41 MW within 2020.
First interventions in the vast potential sector of transport
Last but not least important regard the transport there is a new law initiative, in process of approve, that establish 5% of the amount of fuel consumed for transportation in-country should consist of biofuels, while by 2020, this amount should get up 10% of the total, which opens the way for the first time to the production and use of biofuels, with the aim of achieving the 38% target by 2020.
Open toward diversification and the end of the era of SHPP
A change of approach about the renewable that aims towards diversification, which has made the Albanian, takes already a big step away from the intensive use of the small hydropower (SHPPs) with a capacity below 2 MW. Then, now more than never does not remain that to find the way to accommodate all these options.
However, the energy intensity in Albania, similar to other WBs economies, is very high compared to the average of the EU. A situation that makes the energy efficiency to be considered as the most prominent energy resource – as it is cost-effective and widely available. In more, energy efficiency may also enhance energy security, while at the same time decrease the emissions.
Then, Albania as the others Energy Community member has already formally adopted three Directives, on Energy Efficiency (now in process of full transposition), Energy Performance of Buildings, and Energy Labelling of Products. Notwithstanding their adopting, putting the energy efficiency rules, norms and standards in practices it was shown a tough challenge.
A process that has seen in the last month 2017 the adaptation of the 2nd and the 3rd Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP). The implementation of the all proposed measures in the NEEAP presents an estimate of direct support from the public budget to around 110 million euros within 2020.
Albania’s contribution to the global greenhouse gas emissions is relatively low, estimated at an average of 9,4 million ton/year of CO2 eqv. This is because over 100 per cent of Albania’s electricity is mostly produced from hydro sources and high-energy intensity industries are no longer operating.
However, the country was been part of both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and subsequently the Kyoto Protocol. The above is also complete by the engagement taken within the Energy Community Treaty and based on signed the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016. Following which, in line with the EU 20-20-20 objectives, Albania has presented the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution in September 2016 meeting held in New York, aiming a reducing CO2 emission compared to the baseline scenario of 2016 by 11.5% reduction in 2030.
A level of targets that will be further elaborated under the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan along 2020. This would mean that Albania’s greenhouse gas emissions allow having a smooth trend of achieving 2 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 2050, which is been taken as a target for global contraction convergence on greenhouse gas emissions.
IV. Dilemmas on the future scenarios of the energy
Following a long process lasts several years, Albania finally on 26 March 2018 launched a new energy strategy by 2030. Then by first, a baseline scenario was established, which represents the most likely evolution of the Albanian energy sector. Next, a set of scenarios were developed that represent alternative approaches to achieving the strategic goals for the country.
4.2 Energy strategy alternative scenarios
Based on the baseline scenario have been outlined five possible scenarios for the future of energy. First, the Renewable Energy Scenario and Energy Efficiency Scenario based upon Albania’s obligations as Contracting Parties to the Energy Community Treaty to transpose and comply with the EU Directives.
A Natural Gas Promotion Scenario is designed to calculate the amount of the natural gas, which can penetrate in the different demand sectors (residential, service, industry, transport and agriculture) as well as power generation from the fuel coming from the Trans Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline.
In last, a combined scenario was prepared that analyses the implementation of EE measures, the RES technologies, and the penetration of natural gas as a strategic fuel. In addition, the Albania-Kosovo Coupling Scenario examines integrated operations of the Albania and Kosovo electricity generating plants.
Then, as seen even by the above, in the energy world, there is always more than one solution. In this fluid framework, it is important the finding out the right balance. In regard, the first remark is that the importance of effective communication is often neglected or is difficult due to the complexity of the energy industry. To build the future of energy, we first need a build-up of a permanent social-technical dialogue among different interested parties. Then, the first step must be creating opportunities to connect and develop relationships that facilitate communication, bringing closer companies, professionals and youngers from different energy sectors together in an environment where relationships can flourish.
Communication is a major step towards real change and a key tool for building a more sustainable future of energy, but is not enough! There is the need to transforming communication in a partnership relation, through the institutionalization of the process. Then it may be a platform, a regulatory forum, or others like this activity, important is the working within ‘thematic groups’, for enabling an environment to dedicate to the energy issues.
Only in this way will it be possible that a series of conventions, strategies, and laws not remain in theory or be limited by approximation of legislation, but to go directly into the putting them into practice. Precisely for this, at the current moment, the attention of the RRA Albania focused on the opening country consulting process of the leading stockholders, which is not the change of one or more theoretical or simple formal aspects, but the first practical implementation step of an effective technical regulatory framework that impact not only energy sector but the entire economic compact of society.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed pertain to the author. While all efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations may differ and should be discussed with an expert. For any specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and its related topics, may contact us through “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
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