The landscape of the Albanian solar sector has recently seen introduce of the important developments. The country is at a pivotal moment on deciding its optimal strategy for achieving a future with reduced carbon emissions and sustainable power sources. In framework of the Western Balkans (WBs) region — encompassing the European Union (EU) member states — Albania has adopted from 2012 near-term renewable energy 38% targets for 2020.

According to a last updates referred in the Monitor interview of the EBRD Director in Albania, Matteo Colangeli, it is confirmed that the competitive process for the first photovoltaic plant will take place this year. “Lastly, we are committed to assisting in the development of the solar energy sector in Albania and we anticipate to support the launch of a competitive bidding process for the first photovoltaic plant, later in 2018,” Colangeli confirms.

The stimulating sound investments in solar power generation has been set as a goal by the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Albania and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). With the signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last May in Tirana, both institutions have created the basis for establishing an auction-based system that will help develop projects in the country in line with international best practice standards.

The recent interventions of the Ministry and the Energy Regulatory Authority have already path the way to companies and householders for the installation in self-consumption (in NetMeeting) up to 500kV. Further, there have been approved PV tariffs by 100 Eur/MWh for the solar parks up to 2MW. A process that has attracted by the first moment a great interest of many nation and international companies for the first floor putted in place in total up to 20MW.

However, the PV industry’s opening is just of its begin — shortly in 2018 there are expected the following with the new bid rounds up to 30 MW. As remind by the Monitor both institutions have already passed now in the stage of the developing the support schemes, to be set based in the law of the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources, for allocation of the first 30 MW, which is to go through a competitive bidding process for private investors in the solar power projects in Albania.

The above process for the Albanian means reducing dependence on energy imports, opting to take advantage of its 240 to 300 days of sunshine per year, improving both the energy supply and the country’s macroeconomic security. Last but not least, it allows keeping faith to the commitments taken in the international contexts, following the road map of the Sustainability Charter of Paris, with the aim to tap into the high potential of region for renewable energy generation.

Lorenc Gordani

6 January 2018