The European Parliament yesterday blasted the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for considering financing of the planned USD 2 billion Kosova e Re lignite power plant near Pristina.
In an amendment to the report on Kosovo’s European integration process , the Parliament chastised the bank for prioritising the 600 MW lignite plant over energy efficiency measures and renewable energy projects. The amendment comes in advance of the EBRD approving on 1 May its first country strategy for Kosovo as the newest member of the bank. The Parliament is instead urging the European Commission to take action and contest the EBRD’s strategy because of its contradiction with EU climate targets.
“This resolution sends a strong reminder to the EBRD that it is bound by EU legislation and must not finance these kinds of environmental time bombs,” said Ionut Apostol, Bankwatch EBRD energy campaigner. “The Kosova e Re is more expensive than the alternatives and would lock Kosovo into high levels of lignite power production for decades, crowding out more sustainable energy sources and jeopardising Kosovo’s ability to meet EU requirements on energy and climate.”
Agron Demi from the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development said: “The EBRD is off to a terrible start in Kosovo. The business as usual approach to coal in the country strategy is unacceptable, because coal already costs Kosovo hundreds of millions of euros every year in health related costs, causing premature deaths and children to suffer from respiratory diseases.”
Kosovo and international civil society organisations have expressed disappointment that the most concrete feature of the strategy is support for Kosova e Re lignite plant, which is set to replace the existing Kosovo A plant. Plans to support much-needed energy efficiency and savings measures and renewable energy in Kosovo  are ill-defined in the country strategy.
For more information contact:
CEE Bankwatch Network energy campaigner
Mobile: +40721 251 207
Email: ionut at bankwatch.org
Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development
Mobile: +377 44 417 634
Email: agron at institutigap.org
Notes for editors:
61. Calls on Kosovo to work on developing renewable energy and diversifying energy sources with a view to closing down Kosova A and rehabilitating Kosova B in accordance with its obligations under the Energy Community Treaty; underlines the necessity of devoting more of the financial aid provided by the EU and the EBRD to energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; regrets that the EBRD is planning to support new lignite capacity (Kosova e Re) in its draft country strategy, and calls on the Commission to take action to contest plans such as this that run counter to EU climate commitments.
The final version of the approved text will be available at:
A provisional version is at:
 Daniel Kammen, Professor at the University of California in Berkeley and former World Bank ‘Clean Energy Czar’, has shown that Kosovo has renewable energy capacities that could deliver 34 percent of energy demand by 2025, while providing over 60 percent more jobs than a business as usual path, with estimated cost savings of 5-50% relative to a scenario that includes a new coal power plant. If energy efficiency programmes are put in place, losses are curbed, renewable energy is developed, and the existing Kosovo B plant is rehabilitated, the study finds, there is no need for a costly new plant.
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