Energy-saving improvements, through the Kosovo Sustainable Energy Projects (KoSEP), are helping over 3,100 households in Kosovo to reduce their energy bills.
KoSEP is a European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) credit line which receives support from Norway and the European Union (EU).
Norway and the European Union have supplied grant support for technical assistance used by both financial institutions and potential sub-borrowers to find the best financing solutions, the best technologies required for long-term gains as well as cash rewards for borrowers for certified, successfully completed projects.
EBRD’s focus is on the development of greener economies and has already invested over €225 million in 51 projects in Kosovo. The bank’s strategic priorities in the country are promoting inclusion, the green economy, economic resilience and regional integration, according to its website.
The majority of the bank’s energy services investments are in the private sector. In the first five months of 2017 the bank’s level of climate finance rose by 85%, with €913m invested compared to €493m in the same period last year.
Removing the challenges around energy efficiency
The energy efficiency credit available to the residential sector and small businesses through KoSEP is worth €12m. To date, €11.8m has been paid out for energy efficiency investments, largely in the residential sector but also for small businesses.
Technology improving efficiency
Energy efficiency improvements include the insulation of ‘building envelopes’ (exterior walls, roofs and floors), windows and external doors.
Finance will also be granted for energy-efficient washing machines, refrigerators, and boilers for instance, as well as solar power and biomass renewable energy equipment.
KoSEP also encourages energy-saving refurbishments in multi-story buildings.
Credit line helps Kosovo meet energy savings goal
According to Ian Smith, EBRD Head of Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities CreditLine, the loans have helped to achieve energy savings totalling over 25,000 MWh a year, enough to supply 5,000 Kosovan households with electricity for a year.
He adds: “KoSEP’s energy savings achieved by the end of May 2017 equal almost 12% of Kosovo’s total energy-saving targets for the residential and service sectors."
KoSEP has also directly and indirectly provided important support for the improvement of technical standards, capacity and tools for law enforcement of the legislation on energy efficiency of buildings.
To continue promoting climate finance in Kosovo and the rest of the Balkan region, the EBRD has established the Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility, credit lines for a total of up to €85 million to participating financial intermediaries in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia to finance more residential energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy investments.
Energy efficiency part of Kosovo’s broader energy needs
Kosovo’s energy efficiency plan forms part of the country’s aim to create a much needed reliable and affordable energy supply.
The country relies mainly on lignite coal power plants to meet its growing energy needs. Its citizens face power shortages due to insufficient output, ageing grids and theft.
In March of this year, the World Bank agreed to help the country address its energy crisis.
The bank is putting together a new country partnership framework for the period 2017-2021.
The framework aims at increased energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, improved energy distribution, integration into regional power markets, and support for new and cleaner power generation which will be more reliable and affordable for Kosovo’s citizens.