Q&A with the experts – Lavdosh Ferruni (Albania)

Oct 18, 2021

SeeNet team is continuing with interviews with experts from the region of Southeastern Europe. Currently, we are moving to the experts from another SeeNet members country – Albania. Firstly, we are talking about energy with Mr Lavdosh Ferruni. Mr Ferruni is a well-known environmental activist in Albania and the executive director of the Organic Agriculture Association.

The topic of decarbonisation and shutdown of coal power plants is very common in the EU and the countries of the region. Is there a discussion in Albania about the date of decarbonisation of the economy and how Albania plan the energy transition? 

On the end of previous year, the Parliament of Albania approved the law for Climate Change with the aim of reducing the harmful effects of climate change and contributing to the global response to them. The national objectives for climate change in the Republic of Albania is reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions at the national level, in accordance with international engagements. There is still in the country the target decided after Paris agreement. Albania commits to reduce CO2 emissions compared to the baseline scenario in the period of 2016 and 2030 by 11.5 %. This reduction means 708 kT carbon‐dioxide emission reduction in 2030. There is little discussion to achieve the objective.

In the year behind us (2020), the world record was set with 260 GW of RES installed. What is the total share of RES in Albania and what are the projections for 2030? What is the most dominant source of RES used in Albania and where do you see the greatest potential for further development?

In comparison with neighbouring countries in the South East Europe region, Albania’s energy mix has one of the highest shares of renewable energy. National Energy Sector Strategy, Albania stipulated a 42% share of renewable energy in total primary energy supply (TPES) by 2030, out of 38% that is today. Also, Albania’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) will be superseded by the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which is still to be developed and will set out renewable energy targets to 2030. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) study proposes the scenario of a solar PV installed capacity of 1 074 MW by 2030, which means 51% of the today electricity capacity (95 % Hydro) installed in Albania, compared to 1% that is today. So, PV is definitely the most dominant source of RES to be developed in Albania.
Albania currently has no installed wind power plants. IRENA study proposes the scenario a wind installed capacity of 616 MW by 2030.

Based on information provided by the IEA (International Energy Agency), solar energy is currently the cheapest source of energy in history. What is the situation with the use of solar in Albania with special reference to the solar rooftop.

Passing to alternative renewable, Albania has outstanding sun irradiation within most of its territory. The country has the highest number of sunshine hours per year in Europe. On average, there are around 286 days, with up to 2700 hours of sunshine per year. Therefore, it is an ideal place, where every hectare of land used can generate up to a quarter of a million euros yearly.
Estimated solar thermal installations in Albania amounted to 176 000 square metres (m2) of solar water heating capacity, which is equivalent to 123 MW of nominal thermal capacity. With regard to solar thermal, a study undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Solar Water Heating (SWH) project estimated that the potential for installing SWH systems in public buildings alone amounts to 200 000 m2 of collector area. Such installations would collectively correspond to some 100 GWh of electricity savings per year, which would otherwise have been used for the buildings’ various sanitary hot water needs.
A rooftop PV in Albania is not significantly developed, due to lack of incentives and connection to grid.

Does the legislation Albania recognize energy cooperatives (local energy communities) and Prosumers? Give us examples of good practice.

The concept of “energy communities” is currently missing in national legislation. The energy sector legislation does mention the concept of “prosumers”, but there are no financial incentives or regulations included to support energy communities.
Albania has put in place a net metering scheme for solar photovoltaic (PV) prosumers. Albania’s net metering scheme covers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and households with solar PV systems whose capacity does not exceed 500 kW.
Eligible projects will be entitled to net metering tariffs equal to electricity market prices with surplus power calculated by distribution system operator (DSO) OSHEE on a monthly basis and final payments at the end of each year. The Albanian government expects the scheme to enable the deployment of 200 MW of PV.

According to Eurostat data, the average household in the EU consumes about 300 kWh per month. How much does the average household spend in Albania? How do you rate energy efficiency in Albania? Is there a regulation (law and bylaws)?

The average consumption of household per month is 252 kwh and the average money spend in a month for electric energy is 189 lek or 15.7 euro.
As Albania failed to update its National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) in 2019 as required under the reporting obligations of Directive 2012/27/EU, the country should now focus on the timely finalization and adoption of its integrated National Energy and Climate Plan. The Plan should include an extensive energy efficiency chapter.