The need for a dynamic and efficient energy market is also the case for the Western Balkans and Albania. There is a significant deficit in the overall energy balance in the Western Balkans - Hydro Balkans
+44 207 394 30 90 (London)

The need for a dynamic and efficient energy market is also the case for the Western Balkans and Albania. There is a significant deficit in the overall energy balance in the Western Balkans

Main » novosti » The need for a dynamic and efficient energy…

By Per Strand Sjaastad*
Good energy policy is, basically, about ensuring sufficient and stable supply, at affordable prices in an efficient and competitive market, and – at the same time – without destroying the environment or the climate.

The energy sector generates huge values in society. It also forms the basis for value creation in other industries. The value of energy production is dependent upon innovation, development, knowledge and a well-organized market.

First a few words about my home country, Norway: Norway is one of the world´s largest energy producers. The development of Norway as an energy nation started more than hundred years ago. Today, more than 20 000 people work in the renewable industry.

In addition, Norway is one of the largest petroleum producers in the world. Around 185 000 people are directly or indirectly employed in the petroleum sector in Norway, which is around 7 percent of the total work force. Oil and natural gas will remain an important part of the world energy mix for many years to come, but is expected to be gradually substituted by greener sources of energy in the long term.

As a large energy producer, we also have large commercial interests internationally, and possess insight and competence that we believe makes us a relevant partner for other countries, including Albania. It is about developing an energy cluster and sharing experience with other countries.

Norway has huge renewable resources. Incentives to develop and apply new technologies to make use of these resources will continue. In Norway, around 70 percent of the energy consumption and close to 100 percent of the electricity consumption, is renewable. Norway has the biggest hydropower potential in Europe, whereas Albania has the second biggest.

It is important to strengthen Norway´s network connections to European energy markets to boost the value of renewable resources. Strong transmission networks is essential in a growing market, proving opportunities for trade in energy. We are planning large expansion of transmission lines from Norway to Germany and the United Kingdom.

The establishment of the Nordic Energy Exchange in 1996 was not the end station, only a step on the way. The latest strategy launched in Norway is called ENERGY 21. The aim is to facilitate strong networks between producers, market operators and research institutions. The focus is on sun energy, offshore wind energy, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage. The market is very dynamic, and there is a need of continuous change and reform. The world will increasingly demand clean and green energy.

There is a bold, joint Nordic vision for the energy sector of the future, of a Nordic energy system based on close, trusting and flexible co-operation, which will lay the foundation for the world’s most integrated, intelligent and green low-emission economy. Further, the Nordic system must be closely connected to the broader European market.

The need for a dynamic and efficient energy market is also the case for the Western Balkans and Albania. There is a significant deficit in the overall energy balance in the Western Balkans. The connectivity in the region should get better, also in line with core objectives in the Berlin process. The energy markets do not function as well as they should. Transmission capacity should be more transparent and efficient, making it easier for suppliers and buyer to connect. One must avoid a system with monopolistic features, both in Albania and elsewhere.

As we all know, Albania will most likely open membership negotiations with the EU this year. Reform of the energy sector will bring Albania closer to EU legislation, and facilitate the negotiation process. It will also bring Albania in line with obligations under the South-East Europe Energy Community. Norway has been a key partner in the process towards the establishing of the Albanian Energy Exchange.

The Albanian economy is growing, at around 4 percent every year. A growing economy needs more energy – otherwise further growth will suffer. There is a need for investment in the Albanian energy sector, especially in the construction of new generation sources and transmission lines, improvements in the distribution grid, or energy efficiency. There is also a need for stronger integration in the regional market.

I am pleased that the Norwegian energy company Statkraft has made use of investment opportunities in Albania, by building large-scale hydro-power plants in the Devolli Valley. I hope that further Norwegian investments will take place in the years to come.

The Albanian energy sector reform is promising, focusing on the modernization of distribution, transmission and generation, as well as security of supply. The new transmission lines with Montenegro and Kosovo, a planned line to Macedonia, possible ring lines within Albania, and perhaps a subsea transmission line to Italy, are all steps that must be welcomed. There should also be a potential for wind, solar and biomass, as well as significant petroleum production. Further, the hydro-power potential is far from fully utilized. Investments in the energy sector are, like in most other sectors, also dependent on a healthy business climate, based on rule of law.

I do believe that the energy sector can be an important engine behind growth and development in the Albanian economy, as it has been in Norway for more than a century. The potential is substantial. I believe that Albania already has reached quite far in view of the relatively short period of time since the transition started, and that the Albanian Government has made important decisions in the right direction. Norway has had many decades to gradually transform its energy sector and adapting to new market conditions, whereas Albania is quickly learning the craft.

Finally, let me underline the importance of thinking long-term. When reforming, there may be some bumps in road at the beginning, some people may be unhappy and focus on short-term problems – but in the long run there is no alternative; reforms will give a more efficient market, it will increase accessibility, and it will give incentives for further investments. I can assure you that Norway is ready to remain a constructive partner in this process.

*Per Strand Sjaastad is the ambassador of Norway to Albania, resident in Kosovo. The speech was delivered at a conference on “Energy and Sustainable Economic Development – The Role of Economic Diplomacy” held in Tirana in late February.

Source: TiranaTimes


EPCG to invest EUR 700 million to build new renewables capacities, upgrade other facilities

Author: Vladimir Berbatović Source: Balkan Green Energy News State power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (ЕPCG) will invest a total of EUR 700 million to build new renewable energy capacities and upgrade its other power generation facilities to bring them into line with environmental standards, with the aim of reducing dependence on imports due to hydrologic conditions,…

EPS to invest EUR 4.6 billion by 2027, EUR 700 million to go into hydropower, renewables

Author: Vladimir Spasić Source: Balkan Green Energy News Public power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) intends to invest EUR 4.6 billion from 2019 to 2027, of which EUR 1.6 billion in the modernization of existing and construction of new thermal power plants (TPPs) as well as environmental protection, EUR 1,3 billion in distribution projects, EUR 1 billion…

Romanian hydropower company spends EUR 80 mln to refurbish 350MW power plant

Romania’s state-owned hydropower company Hidroelectrica will totally refurbish its hydropower plant (CHE) Râu Mare – Retezat under a EUR 80 million project, financed from own funds. The plan’s capacity will increase to 350MW after the process, reported. The company wants to make CHE Râu Mare – Retezat the country’s largest supplier of system services,…


In March 2019 Serbia and Republika Srpska (RS) intend to jointly build the hydropower plant (HPP) Buk Bijela. The installed capacity of more than 180 MW, will equally contribute

to the energy stability of Serbia and the RS. HPP Buk Bijela will be built about 11.6 kilometres upstream from Foča. It is planned to be equipped with three hydro generators with

a total capacity of 93 MW, with the expected average annual electricity generation at around 330 GWh. The project would require an investment of EUR 193 million. Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) is currently reviewing the project for HPPs Buk Bijela, to be followed by determining the pace of implementation.


At the end of 2017, EP S announced its intention to overhaul 10 units of HPP Đerdap 2 over 10 years, to help ex tend the plant ’s lifespan and boost its capacity by 50 MW. EPS and Siloviye Mashiny are cooperating on the overhaul of HPP Đerdap 1. The overhaul began in 2009. In Jul y 2018, the t wo companies signed a contract on the modernization of the A2 and A3 units in or der to complete the revitalization of the entire HPP in 2021.


EPS (Serbian state-owned power utility) plans the construction of 2 small hydropower plants on existing dams – SHPP Celije and SHP P Rovni. The project is a part of the programme for reconstruction of SHPPs through the loan of EBRD. The programme encompasses the reconstruction of 15 SHP Ps with total installed capacity of 18 MW. The project also includes the supply of electrical and mechanical equipment and their installation. Once the tender documents are signed, the works will be completed within 62 weeks.