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Kosovo and coal

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Kosovo and coal
Sub-articles:

Coal companies, utilities and agencies in Kosovo

Existing coal-fired power stations in Kosovo

Proposed coal-fired power station in Kosovo

Coal mines in Kosovo

Related articles:

Over 80% of Kosovo's primary energy[1] is from coal, and the economy is highly energy intensive.[2] And 90% of electricity is from coal, namely 2 old lignite plants, but the country suffers from shortages of power at peak demand in the winter season. The World Bank is undecided on whether to fund a new 500MW coal plant.[3][4]

Coal and power companies

Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) is the sole power corporation in the Republic of Kosovo. KEK is vertically integrated and was legally incorporated in 2005. KEK was part of the Yugoslavian power system, and focused in production of energy from coal, with power supplied from plants outside of Kosovo. By the late 1990s, the core business of the Corporation became the production of coal and energy in Kosovo, through two open-cast coal mines - the Mirash mine and Bardh mine - and two power plants, PP “Kosova A” and PP "Kosovo B power station”, which cover the territory of Kosovo. There are approximately 400,000 customers and 8,000 employees in different sectors.[5]

A 2010 European Union report stated that the "legal unbundling of the distribution and supply functions of the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) is due at the end of 2010 with a view to privatisation. Until completion of the new Kosovo power plant project, the other functions will remain integrated in KEK."[6]

The production capacity of Kosova A power station and Kosova B power station has been hampered by chronic technical problems, including a lightning strike in July 2002. Kosovo has been importing electricity in order to make up some for its deficit. Despite the imports for much of the 1999-2002 electricity was not guaranteed 24 hours a day.[7]

Coal Reserves

Kosovo has the world's 5th largest proven reserves of lignite coal, with 12.5 billion tons of lignite.[3]

Coal Mining Operations

In 2016 8.8 million tons of coal were mined.[8]

Sibovc Coal Mine

Sibovc coal mine is located in Obilić, near Pristina.

Mirash and Bardh Coal Mines

The Mirash and Bardh open-cast coal mines are lignite coal mines in Kosovo operated by the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK).[5]

Electricity generation and consumption

According to government statistics in 2016 coal generated 6249 GWh(gross) and hydro 235 GWh, and 459 GWh was imported and 1065 GWh exported; whereas 3595 GWh were consumed.[8]

Cost of electricity

Consumers pay 7 €c per kWh,the third-cheapest electricity in Europe.[9]

Existing coal-fired power stations

Kosovo A power station

This plant was built in the early 1960s, and is located several miles northwest of Kosovo's capital city Pristina. It is operated by Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK). It comprises five units and uses coal from the Mirash coal mine.

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Kosovo B power station

Kosovo B power station was built in the early 1980s and is situated a few kilometers from Prishtina/Pristina.[10] After conflict in Kosovo in the 1990s, the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) invited tenders for the rehabilitation of Kosovo power station unit B2. In June 2000, the contract was won by a consortium of RWE Power International.[11]

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Plant closures

Kosovo A power station will have to be shut down as it cannot economically be brought into compliance with the European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive.

Proposal for new power plant

The government has proposed the lignite-fired Kosova e Re power station[12] and the World Bank is considering supporting the proposed plant.

Alternatives to coal in Kosovo

Solar

With its own solar panel manufacturing plant[13] and 2000 hours of sunshine per year Kosovo has considerable solar potential, but the country has less than 10MW solar and no solar farm auctions have yet been held[14] (in contrast in the cloudier UK a single unsubsidized solar farm is typically 10MW[15]).

Wind

Several wind farms are proposed or under development, including a 105MW wind farm due in 2020.[16]

Biomass

Modernizing the use of biomass (such as wood stoves) for heating might also include replacing coal in some public buildings and district heating.[17]

Common Electricity Market

Environmentalists claim that further expansion of Kosovo's small amount of hydropower would be damaging, and the ministry is considering this.[18] However as neighboring Albania's generation is already almost all hydro the countries are attempting to establish a common electricity market.[19]

Climate change and energy efficiency

The government is considering the development of an integrated national energy and climate plan as part of its movement towards the EU.[20]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Energy Efficiency in Kosovo in years 2011-2016 Kosovo Agency of Statistics, March 2018
  2. Enlargement countries - energy statistics eurostat, accessed June 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 Energy Strategy of Kosovo 2017-2026 Ministry of Economic Development, March 2017
  4. World Bank in doubt whether to back Kosovo coal-fired power plant Reuters, June 13, 2018
  5. 5.0 5.1 "About KEK" Kosovo Energy Corporation website, accessed May 2011.
  6. "EU report 2010" Energy Community, EU Report 2010.
  7. "Kosovo Energy" UNMIK, October 28, 2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Energy Balance Q3 - 2017, Kosovo Agency of Statistics
  9. With jobs short but power cheap, Kosovars get mining - cryptocurrency Reuters, 15 June 2018
  10. "9.1. Energy Situation" Kosovo Ministry of Planning, accessed May 2011.
  11. "RWE’s expertise more than doubles the availability at Kosovo B power station" RWE Power Case Study, December 2008.
  12. Kosova e Re Power Plant Ministry of Economic Development, accessed June 2018
  13. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY IN KOSOVO USAID, August 7, 2017
  14. Kosovo announces auction scheme for solar pv magazine, NOVEMBER 6, 2017
  15. Solar’s coming of age in the UK pv magazine, 9 June 2018
  16. KOSTT, SOWI sign agreement on grid connection for Selaci wind farm Balkan Green Energy News, May 24, 2018
  17. Biomass-Based Heating in the Western Balkans – A Roadmap for Sustainable Development World Bank, October 2017
  18. The fight for Kosovo’s vanishing rivers Prishtina Insight, 22 June 2018
  19. Kosovo and Albania agree to intensify work on establishing common electricity market Balkan Green Energy News, 6 Oct 2017
  20. Secretariat supports development of climate change legislation in Kosovo Energy Community, 7 June 2018

Related SourceWatch articles

Europe and coal

External Resources

Background information