After the conflict of 1999, the domestic power generation has not been able to meet the demand for electricity in Kosovo. Kosovo has been a net importer of electricity in the past decade 2000-2010 – with about 10 % of electricity consumption coming from imports. About 97 percent of power generation capacity is located in two lignite fired thermo-power plants. Energy has been identified as a key national priority for the Government and largely focuses on preparation for private investments in developing a new thermo-power plant, development of a new hydropower plant in Zhur, major investments in upgrading the power transmission system and developing the legal framework for renewable energy production.
The major challenges facing the energy sector in Kosovo are: development of energy infrastructure, facilitation of timely investments in energy supply, development of innovative financing schemes for capital investments and application of cost-reflective energy prices. Improving the energy security and supply implies, among others, to promote diversity, efficiency and flexibility within the sector. The distribution system needs large sums of capital investments in order to minimize the existing losses in the system of electricity distribution. Additionally, Kosovo institutions have been slow at liberalizing the energy sector.
Kosovo energy strategy also recognizes the potential for renewable energy development. The goal is to create a friendly environment for private investment in the sector that focuses on hydropower, wing energy, geothermal energy, biomass and gas from processing of urban and rural waste. Around 3% of total energy production came from renewable energy sources. However, the potential for development of renewable sources is considered as high especially in electricity and heat generation from biogas, biomass and solar energy, hydropower generation from small plans and power generation from wind. The government has committed to work towards reaching the targets set out for use of renewable energy sources in the EU Directives.
The current level of energy efficiency in Kosovo is low, and it is entirely realistic to aim an increase of 20% in EE by 2020. “Kosova e Re” Power Plant will result with an increase of energy efficiency in generation of nearly 5%, as a result of modern technologies used in the plant, compared to TPP Kosovo A and TPP Kosovo B. The highest potential for EE improvement is in heating and electricity generation, where the current use efficiency is much under that determined by EU relevant directives and current technological standards in the EU on furnaces and small heating equipment. For home appliances there is a possibility to increase the EE average for up to 100%, whereas the current thermal energy generation can improve for up to 40% with new lignite combustion generation technologies. Further improvements can be achieved by introducing cogeneration of electricity and heating
As signatory parties of the Energy Community Treaty (ECT), Kosovo is member of the EnCT Task Force on Energy Efficiency (TF EE). Under guidance of TF EE, Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has developed the First National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP). The Law on Energy Efficiency, No. 04/L-016, 22.07.2011, provides for the creation of the Energy Efficiency Agency. The objective of Kosovo is to achieve the set target of 9% energy saving by end of 2018.
According to a World Bank study, the application of insulation materials and double glassed windows would bring a reduction of energy consumption for heating up to an estimated 35% in individual households. Kosovo wide, this would bring potential savings of heating to 500-600 GWh/year, around 12 – 14% of the current demand for heating. Three most promising energy savings projects identified by the World Bank study for the Heating Market42 are: (1) New windows for 65% of hospitals and healthcare centers; (2) New windows for 85% of schools; and (3) New windows for 10% of apartment buildings of over three stories (built between 1960 and 1998).
The major challenges in energy efficiency in Kosovo are: incomplete legal and regulatory framework for promoting energy efficiency, the need to functionalize the institutional structure of the Energy Efficiency Agency, absence of comprehensive data systems – setting up energy data gathering and reporting systems consistent with those of EUROSTAT is an EU accession requirement, lack of incentives – Incentives can help to overcome barriers to entering the market, for example, through special programs offering financial or technical support, or even temporary exemptions from standard administrative procedures, lack of public awareness and lack of education and professional know-how.
The majority of graduate programs taught at UBT the students will be required to undertake practical and/or laboratory work.
The aims of practical work vary but usually include:
UBT has part of the Erasmus Project, has built a modern Energy Engineering Laboratory involving solar, thermal and wind energy production. Students will be introduced to advanced energy engineering techniques and machinery.