Renewable energy, batteries and Kosovo

Written by Adhurim Haxhimusa (FHGR, Switzerland), Kristian Sevdari (DTU, Denmark)

It is human nature for crops (eg cereals) to be stored in large barns and stored for later consumption. At the same time, almost every home / apartment plan has a small warehouse to store flour, oil, rice, beverages, and many other food items. Simply put, families plan and want to have their well-being secured for a certain amount of time.

But not every product can be stored easily, cheaply, and quickly. Electricity is one such product. In the last ten years we have had a much more stable supply of electricity as a result of the elimination of technical problems from regular maintenance and proper management of the units of Kosovo coal power plants A and B.

The problem of electricity generation with coal power plants is that they cause high environmental pollution at the local level, but that at the same time is also affecting climate change globally. As a result, countries around the world have decided to make an energy transition by moving from the use of energy sources that pollute the environment (eg coal, gas, oil derivatives) to renewable energy sources (RES) (p) e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) in the next two decades. Such an energy transition is obligatory for Kosovo as a signatory of the Energy Treaty. Kosovo plans but has also started to invest in the diversification of energy sources through RES, where even a few days ago was put into operation another wind farm with 105 megawatts (MW) of electricity capacity in north of Kosovo.

However, RES are highly dependent on atmospheric conditions. It is simple, windmills rotate around their axis and produce electricity depending on the intensity of the wind. Also solar panels produce electricity only during the day and depending on the intensity of sunlight. So, depending on the generating capacity, in some hours of the day the production from RES can exceed the consumption, while in other hours the consumption can be higher than the production. This makes sustainable RES-based electricity supply challenging.

It is therefore necessary that during the time when we have surplus electricity we store it, to use it during the hours when consumption is higher than production. This is the concept of flexibility (in consumption and production). So for sustainable energy supply it is necessary to make a combination of RES with the most reliable and efficient energy conservation technologies.

Over the last decade, with the increasing use of RES, the scientific activity for finding different methods to conserve energy in large quantities has also increased. A 100% RES-based energy system necessarily requires relatively large energy storage capacities. These capacities are divided according to applications:

a) frequency adjustment (energy up to 15 min);

b) network operation (power up to 4 hours) and

c) save energy (energy up to 6 months).

During this article we will analyze some technologies, with special focus on the technologies with the greatest potential.

Taking advantage of mature technology and the ability to store large amounts of energy, reversible hydropower plants account for about 99% of the world’s energy storage capacity, as batteries are the technology that has recently begun to be applied.

Basically this type of hydropower plant has two basins, one on a high hill, while the other for example in a low valley. During the hours when there is excess electricity the water is pumped up by filling the upper basin, while during the hours when the electricity consumption is higher than the production, water is released from the upper basin to the lower basin and produces electricity.

Batteries (Li-ion) are another very promising technology for energy conservation. Mainly due to the energy density they provide (75-200 Wh / kg) compared to reversible hydropower plants (0.5-1.5 Wh / kg). For this reason batteries are seen as the solution for the transport sector, moving towards electric transport.

Kosovo will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% in 2031

In the framework of the draft new National Strategy for Electricity, Kosovo has set strategic objectives. Among other things, one of the objectives aims to reduce emissions as well as to promote decarbonisation and investment in renewable energy sources.

“High carbon emissions in Kosovo will be significantly reduced through the gradual decarbonisation of the energy sector, implementing a carbon pricing system, transposing EU regulation regarding the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon emissions , as well as creating an adequate institutional and technical infrastructure “, it is said in the draft national energy strategy, published by the Ministry of Economy, reports Kosovo.Energy.

Kosovo aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and increase the share of RES in electricity sector consumption to 35%, from the current 6.3%.

Kosovo will gradually implement the price of carbon, in the same way will attract subsidies for fossil fuels
On the way to reducing carbon emissions and in addition to the obligations undertaken with the signing of the green agenda, Kosovo will have to create a national emissions trading scheme.

According to the energy strategy, Kosovo will complete the preparation of the carbon pricing system in 2025, while it will integrate it in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2031, reports Kosovo .Energy.

During this period, in the national energy strategy, Kosovo is committed to gradually withdraw subsidies for fossil fuels, which are currently high.

Revenues from the carbon trading system will be placed in the Fair Transition Fund. Exactly how the funds raised will be used will be determined later, but the funds can be used to promote RES, train and rehabilitate the workforce, energy-related projects dedicated to consumers in need, etc., reports Kosovo.Energy.

From 246 MW, Kosovo will increase the installed capacities of RES to 1400 MW in 2031
In the national energy strategy, special emphasis is given to the establishment of renewable energy projects in Kosovo. It says the country will apply auction procedures to ensure a more economical and transparent approach.

“The auction process will start immediately, with the preparation of documentation for the first auction in 2022. Using the experience gained from this auction, the Secondary Legislation for RES Law will be drafted and then rounds of further auctions in the coming years, for wind technologies, photovoltaics and other renewable energy “, it is stated in the energy strategy, reports Kosovo.Energy.

Kosovo aims to increase the installed capacity of the renewable energy sector from 244 MW to 1300 MW. In addition, in 2031, Kosovo has set as a goal to increase the capacity of self-consuming producers (consumers), from 2 MW as it is now, to 100 MW.

Thus, the strategic objective of the draft national electricity strategy is to increase the installed capacity of RES from 246 MW as it is now, to 1400 MW.

Feasibility studies for 8 new heating plants
The draft strategy document, published by the Ministry of Economy, states that by 2031, the government will be engaged in promoting the use of renewable energy for heating.

Although it has not set precise indicators for the use of renewable energy for heating, the strategy states that feasibility studies will be carried out in eight different municipalities (except Gjakova and Pristina, which already have a district heating system), reports Kosovo. Energy.

“This study will help determine the level of use and combination of these technologies by 2031, while the existing system of DH Prishtina will diversify its technology so that by 2025 it includes solar-based heating. of 70 MWth “, it is stated in the strategy.

Comments on the strategy can be submitted until June 27th
Otherwise, together with the publication of the draft national energy strategy for 2022-2031, the Ministry of Economy has started the process of public discussion on this document.

The deadline for submitting comments on the draft national energy strategy is June 27, the Ministry of Economy has announced, reports Kosovo.Energy.

All comments and written contributions should be submitted electronically to the e-mail address adnan.preniqi@rks-gov.net with the title: Contribution to the public consultation process for the Energy Strategy of the Republic of Kosovo 2022-2031.

Carbon Taxation Policy Research Introduced: Government sets price to be paid by polluters

The Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) has presented the research “Carbon Taxation Policies – Importance, Challenges and Opportunities for Kosovo”, reports Ekonomia Online.

It was requested that in every country in the world, in Kosovo, carbon taxation be started, in order to protect the environment. Through a carbon tax, the Government was asked to set a price to be paid by polluters for each ton of gas emissions.

Dardan Abazi, director of the Sustainable Development Program at INDEP, said the adoption and implementation of the carbon tax in Kosovo’s policy framework is a complex process that requires gathering all stakeholders and reviewing how it works.

“Carbon tax is one of the policies that the government of Kosovo in a way will be forced to apply in Kosovo, to impose a tax that those who cause it would have to pay and will enable the decarbonization of our system energy and our lives ”.

“We are in the first steps where the debate on the carbon tax has probably not started yet while it is knocking on our doors, whether in the long-term decarbonisation strategy or in other ways, and in general in the legislative framework and public policies,” he said. ai.

During the roundtable was presented the INDEP research of the same name. The presentation of the paper was made by Fiona Bakija, research assistant at INDEP.

“I have been working on the processing of the paper for the last few months. We as INDEP have no need to do such a work as there was no language in Albanian that citizens, policymakers and businesses were informed about such a tax. “Kosovo has signed the declaration of the Sofia summit and is committed to full decarbonisation by 2050,” she said.

“The methodology we have used is qualitative, we have analyzed various reports, legislation in force and we have compared it with foreigners with that of Europe and the Western Balkans as it is more comparable with the state of Kosovo. During the drafting of the publication, we conducted three interviews with actors that we do not care if the carbon tax is imposed in Kosovo “.

“During the research we compared the case of Kosovo with Albania, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden because we thought that Kosovo with these countries is more comparable, maybe not with Sweden but we got the beginnings when Sweden has implemented carbon taxes.” she said.

The Climate Change Officer at the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Abdullah Pirce, said that given the conditions that Kosovo has, it is too early to make such a decision, but that it considers it necessary.

“It’s known that recently there has been a global discussion on climate change and how to fight and stop climate change. For our conditions, it is a bit like before to take this action, but the obligation is an obligation because we have an obligation. “We are also equal members in the treatment of the community and we must respond to the demands that arise from being treated,” he said.

If we can increase production from renewable sources, I think that this way we can achieve some. It remains to be seen how it will happen. The Ministry of Environment can not cope with all this, it does not depend on us, implementation depends on the Ministry of Economy which is responsible for the energy sector, it depends on transport, it also depends on the Ministry of Agriculture how much it will achieve with afforestation “they reforest from Kosovo customs”, he said.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/717497388?h=60fec70901

Should climate change be taught as a subject in our schools?

By: Afrim Berisha, PhD in Environmental Sciences

Although education is not a direct solution to preventing climate change, it is nevertheless one of the most effective tools to change attitudes and better understand the problem, and is therefore a very important action in the fight against global warming. .

Various researches list the strengthening of education and the commitment to climate change as one of the most important social interventions to slow down the phenomenon of rising global temperatures. A wider public with better education on climate problems may be more aware when it comes to supporting policy change and measures to slow or stop greenhouse gas emissions.

Even relevant United Nations climate agencies acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to imagine effectively addressing climate change and climate change without a broad and in-depth educational strategy.
Because of this, the subject of climate change has already become part of the curriculum in many public and private schools around the world.
Despite the complexity of climate science and the many unknowns that this field brings, including the lack of expertise needed for this unit, the interest in learning and understanding the problems of climate change is growing.

In some countries, the commitment to increase support for education in the field of climate change has been placed in the framework of national action plans to meet the implementation of the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement. One such example comes from Italy, which since September last year has officially started teaching the subject of climate change in schools with 33 teaching hours per year. Furthermore, Italy, within the Ministry of Education, has set one of the main objectives of education for sustainability and climate.

In some other countries, such as New Zealand, comprehensive climate curricula have already been developed and are being implemented in schools for students aged 11-15. In compiling this curriculum, Zealand has even engaged climate scientists to make the curriculum as effective as possible.
Even in some schools in the north of England the teaching of climate change has started as a separate teaching unit. Previously, this country has certified special teachers for climate change, and this subject has become part of the curriculum.

In other countries, such as Washington in the US, the climate change curriculum has been budgeted through a special law aimed at funding training projects for public school teachers and civil society organizations to expand knowledge about climate. During 2017 alone, the professional development of this program known as Clime Time, benefited about 7,500 public school teachers, mainly primary school teachers, while for the next two years another $ 3 million was made available.

In support of this whole process, a special contribution is being made by the United Nations, which through specific online courses is certifying teachers for the subject of climate change. The Climate Change and Sustainable Development Education Program (CCESD) has even been established within UNESCO, which aims to increase knowledge about climate change through education.

Educational programs on Climate Change and Sustainable Development under UNESCO guidelines have already been adapted to education systems in Australia, China, Japan and several other countries.
In addition to formal education, there are plenty of informal initiatives to learn about climate change, and the media have increased their commitment to supporting the climate education process.

There is no lack of individual initiatives of students to do more in this regard. We have fresh the initiative of the student from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, who through her actions every Friday, I ask the world leaders to take concrete actions to prevent further climate change. Her actions have inspired millions of young people around the world to protest and one of their demands is even better climate education.

However, in Kosovo there is no concrete initiative to address the inclusion of the climate change curriculum within the regular educational curriculum.

https://gjelberohu.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-duhet-te-mesohen-ndryshimet-klimatike.html?m=1#more

Coal is still the main threat to global climate goals

The number of coal-fired power plants worldwide fell in 2021, according to a published study, but the fossil fuel most responsible for global warming still generated record CO2 emissions, threatening Paris’s climate goals.

Since the 195-country treaty was signed in 2015, coal energy capacity under construction or planned for development has fallen by three-quarters, including a 13 percent year-on-year decline in 2021 to 457 gigawatts (GW) .

Globally, there are more than 2,400 coal-fired power plants operating in 79 countries, with a total capacity of 2,100 GW.

According to the Global Energy Monitor annual report, Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline, a record 34 countries have new coal plants under consideration, from 41 in January 2021.

China, Japan and South Korea, all historical supporters of coal development outside their borders, have pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, although concerns remain about potential gaps in China’s engagement.

And yet, the worldwide operational coal-powered fleet increased in 2021 by 18 GW, and as of December, an additional 176 GW of coal capacity was under construction, almost the same as a year earlier.

The bulk of this growth is in China, which accounts for just over half of new coal-fired power. South and Southeast Asia account for another 37 percent.

Three-quarters of the new coal-fired power plants that began work last year were in China, where newly commissioned capacity offset the retirement of coal-fired power plants in all other combined nations.

“The pipeline of the coal plant is shrinking, but there is simply no carbon budget left to build new coal plants,” said Flora Champenois of the Global Energy Monitor. “We have to stop, now.”

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have warned that having a chance to fight global warming at sustainable levels means there are no new coal plants and a rapid shutdown of existing ones.

Rich countries should do this by 2030 and most of the rest of the world by 2040, they said.

Many emerging economies like India, Vietnam, Bangladesh have cut plans for new coal capacity.

“In China, plans for new coal-fired power plants have continued to be announced,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research and co-author of the report.

To date, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, China has pledged to reach the peak of carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.

In the United States, efforts to limit coal use have slowed, the report said.

The capacity of US ‘retired’ coal capacity in 2021 fell for the second year in a row, from 16.1 GW in 2019, to 11.6 GW in 2020, to around 6.4 to 9.0 GW last year.

To meet its climate targets, the United States will need to draw 25 GW per year from now until 2030.

The European Union retired a record 12.9 GW in 2021, including 5.8 GW in Germany, 1.7 GW in Spain and 1.9 GW in Portugal, which went coal-free in November 2021, nine years before the target departure date.

Source: kosovo.energy

Myth or truth!

❌ MYTH

Reducing the use of fossil fuels and renewable energy production means higher costs for citizens, higher unemployment and slowing down economic growth.

✅ TRUTH:

Every year #WesternBalkans citizens pay up to €8.5 billion for the hidden costs of using coal which include a shortened life expectancy of our citizens, reduced productivity at work, days spent on sick leave and pressure on the health system.

Furthermore, people working in the coal industry need support to transfer to new and healthier jobs being created within a just transition of the energy sector, like biofuels, a sustainable forestry sector, solar energy, or rural tourism.

There is a real chance to increase economic growth, as the example of the European Union shows – the EU has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 25% in the last 30 years while achieving economic growth of 60%.

SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY

Almost the entire electricity sector in Kosovo is based on electricity produced from coal. This fact is a problem for the energy sector. Especially during the winter months to meet the demand for electricity, it is imported from neighboring countries. Due to insufficient funding and technical failures in the 1990s, maintenance and rehabilitation works of power plants and lignite have not increased electricity production.

Kosovo is currently facing an energy crisis where the need for energy is very high, as an opportunity for efficient energy production in Kosovo is renewable energy respectively solar and wind energy.

Solar Energy

The sun is an incredible and renewable resource that has the power to nourish life on earth and provide clean and sustainable energy to all its inhabitants. In fact, more energy from the sun reaches our planet in one hour than is used by the entire population of the world in one year. Solar energy can be converted into electricity through photovoltaic (PV) solar modules (photo = light, voltaic = electricity).

How does solar energy work and why should we use solar energy?

PV modules absorb sunlight and convert energy into a usable form of electricity. The sun shines all over the world, making solar electricity applicable everywhere. Because solar can be paired with batteries for energy conservation, solar electrical systems can be independent of the utility network, making them cost-effective for remote locations.

‘Kosovo has a total of 278 sunny days a year. Considering this fact, Kosovo presents great potential for energy production from solar panels. “This will help not only in a stable and secure energy production, but also in creating a cleaner environment,” said INDEP. But, despite the potential for solar energy production, in Kosovo there is only 3% of installation capacity from solar panels.

Initially, the process of expanding renewable energies can be long and difficult due to several factors, such as geographical and legal circumstances, as well as economic ones. Basically, the authorization procedures of renewable energy plants should be transparent and flowing. Existing or future tariffs as well as promotion schemes should provide stability and predictability. This is especially important for project financing. Therefore, it is essential to create an economic environment with transparent regulatory conditions, a clear legal framework and promotion schemes that enable investors to make reliable and predictable calculations, and investments in renewable energy in Kosovo.

Commissioning of generators by RES

During this year, after the finalization of the projects according to the Authorization by the Board of ERO, and after the technical acceptance, three (3) projects have entered into commercial operation, with a total installed capacity of 4.86 MW. The following table presents the projects that have entered into commercial operation for the production of electricity from RES.

Self-generating generators

During this year, ERO has handled the requests / applications for generators for obtaining the status of productive consumer for self-consumption, which after fulfilling the legal requirements in accordance with the Authorization Rule and the Support Scheme, have been allowed to continue with the construction of self-consumption generating capacities. The following table presents the number of decisions issued by the Board of ERO, for generators for self-consumption during 2020.

Wind energy

Wind turbines work on a simple principle: instead of using electricity to produce wind – like a fan – wind turbines use wind to produce electricity. The wind turns the blades similar to the propeller of a turbine around a rotor, which rotates a generator, which generates electricity.

Wind is a form of solar energy caused by a combination of three simultaneous events:

The sun unevenly warms the atmosphere
Irregularities of the land surface
Earth rotation.

How does wind energy work?

A wind turbine converts wind energy into electricity using aerodynamic force from the rotor blades, which act as the rotor blade of the airplane or helicopter wing. When wind blows through the blade, the air pressure on one side of the blade decreases. The difference in air pressure on both sides of the blade creates both lift and pull. The lifting force is stronger than the drag and this causes the rotor to rotate. The rotor is connected to the generator, or directly (if it is a direct drive turbine).

In the framework of the project “Increasing the capacity of students in research, law enforcement and academic writing related to human rights and the environment”, students Agon Drini, Jeta Dalladaku and Flamur Kabashi have worked on the article and research “Wind energy and the sun ”.

The project is supported by the Community Development Fund – CDF and funded by the Swedish Embassy in Kosovo.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the students. They do not reflect the official policy or position of AIDS, the SWEDISH GOVERNMENT, the CDF or KOSID.

Click on the link below to read the article:

The Balkan Green Foundation conducted a survey of 623 Kosovar households on electricity consumption


The survey was conducted online, and was open to be completed by all citizens. The survey asked citizens to provide data obtained from the electricity bill for December 2021, the number of family members and household income.

The average of the participants in the survey was: 4 members per family 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 – with 23% of respondents with a monthly income over 1000 EUR, 34% of respondents with a monthly income of 500-1000 EUR and 43% of of respondents with monthly income below 500 EUR.

The answers of the respondents show that: 82% consume over 600 kWh of electricity muaj per month.

The survey shows that out of 623 surveyed households are heated by:

43% electricity;

25% wood stoves;

9% combined category (wood and electricity stoves);

8% boiler with pellets;

5% central heating;

5% air conditioning for heating;

4% heat pump;

1% other ways of heating.

Find the results of this survey illustrated in the attached graphs and the following link:

https://bit.ly/3sjXSpR

Environmental benefits of energy conservation

Reduction of surface and groundwater pollution

Extraction of fossil fuels such as coal and oil from underground degrades and contaminates the groundwater supply. Water pollution and can make it unfit for human and animal consumption.

Reducing soil disruption and wildlife

The buildings, equipment and roads needed to extract fossil fuels and produce usable energy are a disorder of wildlife and the natural environment. Natural habitat has been reduced at the site of fossil fuels as well as in areas around roads and railways erected to transport raw materials, where they are processed and used.

Fewer opportunities for oil spills

The potential for oil spills is a known risk of our dependence on fossil fuels. By reducing the amount of energy we consume we are also reducing the amount of oil that needs to be transported around the world.

Media Reporting Training on Kosovo Forestry

The Swedish funded programme on forestry, implemented by FAO in close cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Development, organized a training on media reporting on forestry as part of capacity building to the journalists to investigate and report various problems and best practices facing the forestry sector in Kosovo.

Journalists from mainstream media got in depth information on forest sources, use and practices in Kosovo, illegal logging and timber trade, forestation and reforestation. Among the key challenges presented during the training were illegal forest logging, non-punishment of illegal loggers, lack of investments in the management of forest resources and low level of public awareness on protection and use of forests.

The Ambassador of Sweden in Kosovo, Karin Hernmarck Ahliny in her welcoming speech, emphasized the support that Sweden is providing for forestry sector and highlighted the great role that the media have in shaping public opinion for the sustainable development of forests. She encouraged journalists to prioritize this sector in their reporting and to use the expertise of the FAO team in the forestry program to obtain information during their work.