Electrical energy in Kosovo
|Share of fossil energy||97%|
|Share of renewable energy||3%|
|Distribution losses (2012)||36%|
|Transmission losses (2012)||2%|
|Share of private sector in distribution||100%|
|Responsibility for transmission||KOSTT|
|Responsibility for regulation||ERO|
|Responsibility for policy-setting||Ministry of Economic Development|
|Responsibility for the environment||Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning|
|Electricity sector law||Yes (2010)|
The electricity sector of Kosovo relies on coal-fired power plants (97%) and is considered one of the sectors with the greatest potential of development. The inherited issues after the war in Kosovo and the transition period have had an immense effect on the progress of this sector.
Regulation of activities in energy sector in Kosovo is a responsibility of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO). An additional factor in the energy sector in Kosovo is Ministry of Economic Development (MZHE), which has the responsibility of dealing with issues that have to do with energy. MZHE prepares legislation and drafts strategies and projects.
Policy and regulation
The main institutions responsible for the energy sector management in Kosovo are: Ministry of Economic Development (MZHE) and Energy Regulatory Office (ERO). Important responsibilities are also held by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Infrastructure. Besides government institutions, there are also companies with great impact in energy sector such as Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK), Transmission, System and Market Operator (KOSTT) and Kosovo Electricity Distribution and Supply (KEDS).
A lot of legislative documents that aim the adjustment of electricity sector have been approved. This includes:laws, administrative instructions and strategic documents. All this legislative framework is drafted relying on EU corresponding documents.
Lignite exploitation in Kosovo started in 1922. New mines were opened to satisfy the needs by increasing generation capacities. Kosovo Energetic Corporation (KEK) is a public company, which owns and operates with generation assets of electric energy.
The greatest part of generation capacities of Kosovo are the two power plants: Kosova A and Kosova B. There is a third plant, Kosovo C, currently being planned. The capacities of the two power plants are lower than the installation parameters level, because of the outdated system and lack of maintenance during the last decade of the 20th century. The first unit of Kosova A power plant started working in 1962 with a power of generation 65 MW. The last unit A5 was built in 1975. A1 and A2 units are out of function and they are planned to be decommissioned. A3, A4 and A5 units are still in function. Kosova B power plant is composed of two units. The first unit was built in 1983 with a capacity of 340MW, while the second unit was built in 1984 with the same power of generation. The conditions in Kosova B power plant have improved after recent investments. The power plants and coal mines are located in Kastriot (Obilić),only 3 km away from the borders of the municipality of Prishtina. Technical and commercial losses and the conditions of the power plants together with the high debts have brought KEK in a difficult financial situation.
The only major power station outside of KEK is Ujmani (Gazivoda) hydroelectric power plant which is administrated by the Hydro-economic Enterprise "Iber-Lepenc". Hydroelectric power generation is mainly provided by Ujmani power station with a capacity of 70MW. In the past, Kosovo has had four functional hydroelectric power plants. After the 1999 war they stopped working, but they have been rehabilitated in the recent years.
- Lumbardhi hydroelectric power plant was rehabilitated in 2005. A private company has rent it for a period of 20 years. Its capacity of generation is 23 MW.
- Dikanci hydroelectric power plant is rented and started functioning in 2010, with a capacity increased from 15 MW to 28 MW
- Radavci hydroelectric power plant was rehabilitated in 2010 from a company which has rented it. Its capacity was increased from 15 MW to 30 MW.
- Burimi hydroelectric power plant was rented and its capacity was increased from 10 MW to 25 MW.
There are a few areas in Kosovo where the wind reaches the necessary speed to be used for wind farms. The only wind farm in Kosovo was installed in Golesh by a private company, and started working in 2010. Shortly after, the farm stopped functioning, because the Energy Regulatory Office refused to pay the tariffs required by the company. The ERO officials stated that the plants were outdated. Further studies are required before investments in this field. In 2018 the firm "Enlight Renewable Energy Solutions" bought the rights of a project consisting of 27 wind turbines, and the plants has a planned capacity of 105 megawatts.
Kosovo has the potential of capturing solar energy directly and converting it to electricity. The region of highest solar potential based on global horizontal irradiation is the southeastern part of Kosovo, centred around the city of Gjakova.
Consumption of electrical energy in Kosovo has increased continuously. This is mostly caused by commercial losses. Furthermore, the constant increase of economic development and population have increased the energy demands. Generation of energy from power plants has increased year by year, while the generation of energy from hydroelectric power plants has decreased. To cover the request Kosovo imports energy in certain periods of time (mostly during the winter).
Import covers 5-10% of the consumption. Usually, in Kosovo the imported energy is much more expensive than export. This is because Kosovo imports energy one day before needed, in the other hand energy is exported during the night when the demands are under generating level. Imports and exports have a negative impact for electrical energy price.
Transmission System and Market Operator (KOSTT) was founded in 2006. It is a public company, responsible for operation, planning, maintenance and development of transmission network and interconnection with neighboring energetic systems, in order to retain supply insurance in Kosovo. KOSTT is also responsible for the operation of electrical energy market in Kosovo. Kosovo was part of the Regional Energy Community and was connected with the regional system through interconnections with Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania. KOSTT made an agreement with ENTSO-E so Kosovo gets his own independent region of energy administration. Kosovo gets full independence and control of its energy industry. Kosovo establishes a separate joint with Albania according to the agreement with ENTSO-E. Kosovo is a key point in Southeast Europe because of its geographic position in the center of the region. Electrical energy transmission system is connected with neighboring systems in 400 kV level, but with Albania due to Serbia's intervening the 400 kV interconnection wasn't enabled. After the agreement between KOSTT-ENTSO-E, Kosovo makes a joint with Albania and the 400 kV interconnection known as "Energy Highway" (or in Albanian "Autostrada Energjetike") will be enabled and fully functional for Kosovo and Albania.
Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply Company (KEDS) is a company operating throughout Kosovo having the exclusivity for electricity supply and distribution in the territory of Kosovo. Since May 2013, Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply split from Kosovo Energy Cooperation and started its operational activities as a joint stock company. KEDS is owned now by Turkish companies Çalık Holding and Limak. KEDS is considered one of the largest employers in Kosovo, having 2618 employees. Furthermore, over 450 thousand customers are provided with electricity supply covering household customers, commercial and industrial customers. Currently there are three main projects concerning distribution: Construction of medium voltage distribution facilities of the new 110/10(20) kV Prishtina 7 substation, Expansion and reinforcement of the low voltage distribution network 2013, and Expansion and reinforcement of the medium voltage distribution network 2013. Additionally, KEDS intends to invest 110 million euros on the 5 forthcoming years and 300 million euros on 15-year period.
Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) is an independent company which sets the regulatory framework founded on the principals of free trade. The energy price is determined by different factors: operative cost, maintenance cost, import and other factors. The decrease of commercial and technical losses would affect positively. Factors that have kept the low prizes until now are: foreign investments as grants, government subventions, the lack of investments for environment protection and inexpensive labor force. KEK generating about 97% of the energy has the monopoly of market. ERO has the jurisdiction of setting tariffs for energy services.
Power plants impact on environment and health
Environment protection is a mission of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MMPH). Since most of electric power is produced by power plants in Kosovo they are considered the main environment pollutant. Actual emission of gases, dust and waste-water discharged from the existing power plants, are above the levels allowed by the EU directives. According to the World Bank’s statistics, 835 deaths, 310 new cases of chronic bronchitis, 22,900 new cases of respiratory diseases among children, 11,160 emergency visits to country's hospital and there is a 100 million euros loss are caused each year because of coal plants. 
Kosovo Agency for Energy Efficiency - KAEE is executive institution under the Ministry of Economic Development. KAEE implements energy efficiency policies through evaluating energy saving opportunities and implementing energy efficiency measures in all sectors of energy consumption. This agency has drafted Energy Efficiency legislative frameworks aiming to implement the best EU practices. The World Bank is preparing a project of $32.5 million in order to finance investment, and to technically support the strengthening of renewable energy regulation and policies.
Based on the increase of demand, the role of import is essential to provide stable supplement. Kosovo has signed several agreements for cooperation on energy sector with Albania. The fact that the electrical energy system of Albania relies on hydro energy (almost 100%), while Kosovo relies on power plants, is a great opportunity for cooperation between the two countries. Moreover, a 400 kV interconnection line is in its final proceeding before the beginning of building. The kosovar Ministry of Economic Development has negotiated with Montenegrin and Macedonian economy institutions to deepen the cooperation, especially in the energy sector.
New alternatives for energy
Kosova e Re is a project for building a new power plant. The building of this power plant would fulfill the needs for electric power in Kosovo. This project has been modified several times. Minister of Economic Development, Fadil Ismajli, claimed that Kosova e Re is due to being built in 2015.
Zhur Hydroelectric Power Plant project is a new opportunity for using reliable energy potentials. It is evaluated that Zhur HPP generation capacity would be 305 MW. The project is pending because of the high cost, limited capacities and issues that relating with the use of water with Albania.
Studies have shown that beside hydroelectric power plants there are other alternatives to lignite power plants. It is considered that an ideally located solar collector in Kosovo can produce 1600 kWh/m2/year. A study made by Energy and Recourses Group University of California claims that the approximate energy that Kosovo could generate from biomass resources is 6600 GWh/yr. While neighboring countries (Macedonia and Serbia) generate a portion of their electric power by using geothermal sites, in Kosovo there is a lack of studies on this field.
- "Law on Electricity" (PDF). Ministry of Economic Development of Kosovo. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Projekti Energjetik i Kosovës" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "STRATEGJIA E ENERGJISË E REPUBLIKËS TË KOSOVËS PËR PERIUDHËN 2009 – 2018" (PDF). Government of Kosovo. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Coal Mining". Kosovo Energy Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Why Kosovo needs climate friendly energy alternatives". 8 March 2017.
- "Generation". Kosovo Energy Corporation. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Termocentrali "Kosova C" dhe raporti i Vlerësimit Strategjik Mjedisor dhe Social". KosovaPress. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Plani i Kosoves per burimet e ripertritshme te energjise" (PDF). Ministry of Economic Development. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Renewable energy as an Opportunity for Economic Development in Kosovo" (PDF). GIZ. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Enlight buys rights to Kosovo wind farm project - Globes". Globes (in Hebrew). 14 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- "Energjia diellore me potencial te madh". Telegrafi. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "USAID / EMPOWER Private Sector » JAHA Solar – the Only Producer of Solar Panels in the Western Balkans". empowerkosovo.org. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- "Strategjia e Kosoves per Energji" (PDF). Kosovo Prime Minister Office. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Strategjia e Kosoves per Energji" (PDF). Kosovo Prime Minister Office. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "About KOSTT". KOSTT. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Agreement KOSTT-ENTSO-E, Kosovo achieves energy independence". 20 April 2020.
- "Delayed Kosovo-Albania highway".
- "About". Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "About". Energy Regulatory Office. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Kosovo Campaign Targets Proposed New Power Plant". Balkan Insight. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "About AKEE". Kosovo Agency for Energy Efficiency. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Energy Efficiency in Kosovo". World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Kosovo Energy Strategy" (PDF). Kosovo Prime Minister Office. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Termocentrali Kosova e Re, ne janar 2015". EvropaeLire. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Shehu, Bekim. "Hidrocentrali i Zhurit- Shqipëria nuk do, Kosova po". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Sustainable Energy Options for Kosovo" (PDF). University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.