Kosovo has around 1.8 million inhabitants. Its electricity generation is almost entirely dependent on two ageing lignite plants: Kosova A (5 units with 800 MW installed) and Kosovo B (two units with 678 MW installed). The current real capacity of these plants is around 915 MW altogether. They are infamous for their contribution to air pollution and Kosova A was supposed to have been closed at the end of 2017, according to a commitment to the EU.
Kosova A and Kosova B are supplied with lignite from the adjacent Sibovc Southwest and Sitnica mines. Kosovo has very large lignite resources, totalling 12.5 billion tonnes, which it claims are the second largest in Europe and fifth largest in the world. It has no oil or gas extraction and no gas import infrastructure, although it is interested in building a pipeline to connect to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
A new 500 MW lignite power plant – Kosova e Re – has been under development for many years [http://bankwatch.org/our-work/projects/kosova-e-re-lignite-power-plant-kosovo]. Initially it was planned as a 2000 MW plant but failure to find investors has gradually lowered ambitions. The World Bank proposes to provide a Partial Risk Guarantee for the project, while the EBRD and IFC may also provide financing.
Due to the domination of lignite in Kosovo’s energy mix, it is very inflexible, and interconnections with neighbouring countries are needed to improve the situation. A new 400 kV interconnection with Albania has been built but as of May 2018 has not started operations due to political issues between Kosovo and Serbia.
Only around 2 percent of Kosovo’s electricity came from hydropower plants in 2015 – the Ujmani power plant and 4 independent power producers – amounting to an installed capacity of 45.84 MW. Since then, some new plants have started operating: Brodi II (3.89 MW), Lumbardhi II (9.2+8.4 MW) Albaniku III (4.3 MW). Kosovo does not have plentiful water resources like other Balkan countries but in recent years construction of small hydropower plants has still speeded up and become controversial, as several of them are sited in protected areas. The only known potential for large hydropower is the 300 MW Zhur plant and 40 MW Zhur II, however these suffer from transboundary issues and are not likely to go ahead.
Kosovo has a renewable energy target of 25 percent share in the final gross consumption of energy by 2020 according to the Energy Community Treaty. It also has a domestically set target of 29.47 percent renewables by 2020. In 2015, it had achieved 18.5% renewables, according to the Energy Community.
Most renewable energy so far comes from the use of wood for space heating, which accounts for the vast majority of heating, with district heating accounting for only 3-5%.
If it wants to achieve its target, Kosovo will have to speed up its progress in the electricity sector. So far, apart from the hydropower plants, there is just one small wind farm with a capacity of 1.35 MW. A larger windfarm of 32 MW seems to be under construction at the moment but other projects seem quite far behind. There is little use of solar PV even though the country has a manufacturing plant.
Decarbonisation scenario (2050 minus 2016)
The EU Road scenario
Like other Energy Community members, Kosovo has an energy efficiency target of 20 percent by 2020. Given its high level of distribution losses – 29.7 percent technical and commercial losses in 2016 – combined with artificially high demand through poorly insulated buildings, there is enormous potential in this area.
More on coal in the Balkans
Macedonia made headlines in December when the United Nations ranked its capital city, Skopje, as the most polluted capital city in Europe. If the ranking included non-capitals, it would not miss Novaci – a small village in the country’s south that also gasps for breath.
Prague – Proponents of coal say almost 30,000 jobs will be created or maintained in southeastern Europe if new coal plants are built, while according to new analysis  by Bankwatch, over 5,000 jobs will be lost.