Kosovo faces worst energy crisis in a decade

Kosovo faces worst energy crisis in a decade
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 3, 2022

Kosovans will experience 60 days of planned daily power cuts after the government decided on December 24 to implement emergency measures to deal with the energy crisis. 

The government said that due to the significant increase in electricity consumption, insufficient domestic power generation and the global energy crisis that has resulted in the enormous increase in electricity prices on international market, the Kosovan energy system is facing huge difficulties.

Difficulties in the electricity supply occurred especially during December 2021 due to breakdowns in the Kosova B power plant’s units and a significant increase in electricity consumption.

"In order to maintain the integrity of the system, the government is announcing emergency measures in the energy supply for a maximum duration of up to sixty days," the government said in the statement.

KEDS said on December 24 said it introduced systematic, temporary electricity outages of two hours due to the deepening energy crisis, the overloads of the electricity system, the increase of consumption due to increased heating and huge difference between consumption and production.

KEDS said that rotating power outage would initially be implemented for 24 hours and that different regions would be cut for two hours at a time.

The distribution company also urged citizens to be careful with their energy consumption and use alternative heating measures.

Customers are being notified of the planned restrictions through the eKesco app.

Kosovo relies heavily on electricity generation from TPPs, but often faces energy crises due to its outdated TPPs, which constantly need repair. Kosovo is estimated to have the world's fifth largest reserves of lignite or brown coal of 12bn-14bn tonnes. It produces 95% of electricity from coal, making it the second in the world. 

Outdated stations contribute to low domestic production and a global energy crisis has increased import prices.

Meanwhile, Kosovo's government allocated €20mn to import electricity, which according to Prime Minister Albin Kurti is up to seven times higher than during the same period last year when the price of one MW/h stood at around €60.

Kurti said earlier in December that such energy prices may continue indefinitely and is important to try to save electricity as far as possible. 

He promised that the government will address all energy issues within its mandate and that the strategy that will be presented within the first half of 2022 would be the first step in this direction.