Reaction: Green Agreement for the Balkans – Golden opportunity for necessary change

The Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) welcomes the signing of the Green Agreement for the Balkans at the Sofia summit and Kosovo’s participation in this initiative. INDEP considers that the commitment that the Government of Kosovo has pledged to in this agreement is a clear guide to a new policy course that Kosovo institutions should follow. Its signing is a fair symbolic step to be followed by substantive decisions and a new policy framework.

The Green Agreement on the Balkans is a great opportunity for Kosovo to change the course of its policy by moving away from the coal mentality towards a clear commitment to decarbonization. Therefore, we call on the Prime Minister and the Government to immediately translate the commitment made in this agreement into a decision-making attitude that will clearly define a timeline for the decarbonization of the energy system and the path that Kosovo must follow to get rid of polluting fuels. This political commitment needs to be translated into a new Energy Strategy that will be established in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).

Another necessary step is to ensure an energy market that promotes competition, the quality of energy products and protects the consumer. Politics must stay away from pressures against the market liberalization process and should facilitate the market liberalization process first at the level of 35 kV and then for commercial consumers at the voltage levels of 0.4kV. This process would ensure the right of customers to switch suppliers, and in the medium and long-term would reduce the prices, increase the quality of services and increase the overall security of supply. The government should advance the market unification process with Albania and carry out part of its work to integrate the Kosovo market into a regional energy market.

The Government of Kosovo should also develop policies that accelerate the increase of the share of energy from renewable sources in the Kosovo market. We are already too late in setting up a system to support these resources through auctions. This model would provide affordable prices for consumers, develop fair competition in capacity allocation in the support scheme and increase the share of green energy in the energy mix.

We call on the Government of Kosovo to also support the field of energy efficiency as the first and best source of energy in the country. Full implementation of Law no. 05 / L-101 on Energy Performance in Buildings and the support of the Energy Efficiency Fund are vital steps to realize the commitments of the Sofia Summit.

The Sofia Summit and the signing of the Green Agreement for the Balkans are a hope for the region and for Kosovo. We ask the Government of Kosovo to use this momentum to take accelerated steps to give real value to what was signed at this summit. Kosovo is in a unique position to project a future for the energy sector that ensures a fair transition, provides new jobs and cares for the environment and public health. If the Government chooses this path, the Government of Kosovo will have the support and our experience and expertise as INDEP.