Kosovo looks to renewables revolution

Kosovo can "kill-off" its coal-fired power generation capacity, after new deals to support wind and solar power in the country, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Kosovo's first commercial wind project was completed in 2018 -- plans for more are being developed (pic: Guris Holding)

Kosovo generates nearly all of its electricity from what the IEEFA described as "two of Europe’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants".

With support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the country is now holding its first renewables auctions, and targeting 400MW of renewable capacity to be online by 2025.

Kosovo completed its first 32.4MW wind project in 2018, developed by Turkish firm Güris. A 105MW wind project is also being built and is expected online in 2021.

There are also plans for a 50MW solar project, as well as an existing 70MW portfolio of hydro power.

The focus on renewables was spurred by the World Bank’s decision not to support a new coal-power plan in October 2018.

"World Bank data indicates that Kosovo can achieve around a 30% capacity factor for onshore wind in the north and east of the country, and a 16% capacity factor for solar, implying around 430GWh of electricity generation annually from the above-mentioned wind and solar projects, operating, planned or under construction," said IEEFA energy finance consultant Gerard Wynn.

"That is already starting to eat into the 2,370GWh generation theoretically available from a proposed new coal plant with 450MW net capacity, if that is assumed to run at the same 60% capacity factor as historically achieved at the country’s existing 960MW of coal-fired capacity," Wynn added.