EU Support For Renewable Energy Projects In Western Balkans

European Union Commits €1 Billion Energy Support Package For Western Balkans That Includes Funding For Floating & Ground Mounted PV Projects

EU Support For Renewable Energy Projects In Western Balkans

European Union is backing Western Balkans’ efforts towards a clean energy transition with a €1 billion energy support package. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: artjazz/Shutterstock.com)

  • EU has earmarked €1 billion energy support package for the Western Balkans to help it face the current energy crisis
  • Of the €500 million committed for energy transition efforts, 4 solar PV projects are on the list of projects to be supported
  • It includes a floating solar plant in Albania, and ground mounted PV facilities in Kosovo and North Macedonia

The European Commission (EC) has announced €1 billion energy support package for the Western Balkans comprising €500 million in short and medium support for 12 investment projects, including floating solar and ground mounted PV projects in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, to help the region deal with the current energy crisis and make it future ready with renewable energy.

This €500 million financial support will enable Western Balkans accelerate its energy transition and energy security measures. All projects covered—including wind and energy infrastructure—are expected to mobilize up to €2.5 billion in total investments in cooperation with international financial institutions.

“Renewable energy is cheaper; it is affordable; it is cleaner; it is better for our planet; and it is home-grown. It provides good jobs here at home, so it gives independence and security of supply,” stated EC President Ursula von der Leyen. “The investment of these EUR 500 million will of course go in renewables, in interconnections, so infrastructure, but also energy efficiency.”

Following are the solar power projects to be supported with the funding:

  1. 9 MW Vau i Dejës Floating Solar PV Plant in Albania. Planned as the 1st medium size hybrid floating solar and hydropower plant, it is touted to be the 1st application of pure floats technology in the region. Project completion is due in 2025 when it will produce more than 18 GWh annually (see Bidders Sought For Floating Solar Plant In Albania).
  2. 100 MW Solar4Kosovo Solar PV Plant, estimated to come online in 2026 in Kosovo. The project is coming up on former ash dump fields in proximity of Kosovo A thermal power plant. It will be the country’s 1st large scale solar PV project and will help increase its installed PV capacity from 10.1 MW to 110.1 MW. It is expected to generate around 152 GWh annually (see Consultancy Tender For 100 MW Solar PV In Kosovo).
  3. 10 MW Oslomej 1 Solar PV Plant in North Macedonia, already commissioned in April 2022 (see Europe PV News Snippets). Located on the site of a previous coal mine, it is expected to generate around 15 GWh annually.
  4. Oslomej 2 and Bitola Solar PV Plants, both with a combined capacity of 30 MW in North Macedonia are scheduled for completion in 2025. These will be located on the site of a coal mine in Oslomej, not in use anymore, and adjacent to the Bitola coal-fired power station. Together these are likely to account for 50 GWh annually. State utility ESM recently launched a tender seeking consultants for these projects (see North Macedonia Launches Tender For 30 MW Solar).

Remaining €500 million will help bring down energy prices for businesses and vulnerable households, Leyen stated while announcing the support package during the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Albania’s Tirana city recently.

Together this €1 billion EU grant will help the region deal with energy crisis and promote clean energy transition, she added.

An October 2022 report of Agora Energiewende expects Western Balkans to transition to a clean energy system at 15% less cost with renewables, including potential to increase its solar PV capacity to 37.5 GW by 2045, as compared to replacing its aging lignite power plants with new coal or fossil gas (see Scope For 37.5 GW Solar By 2045 In Western Balkans).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

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