Energy topped the London meeting between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Prime ministers of the Western Balkan states.

Boyko Borissov, Ana Brnabić, Ramush Haradinaj, Duško Marković, Edi Rama, Zoran Zaev and Denis Zvizdić, all of whom attended the meeting at the EBRD HQs, focused on how to attract investments through adopting reforms that will allow the formation of a healthy business environment in the wider region of the Western Balkans.

The countries of the Western Balkans, are called, according to an EBRD document to tackle the consequences of climate change in an already burdened environment.

However, significant efforts are being made to place emphasis on Renewable Energy Sources and to harmonize the national legislation of the Western Balkan countries with EU requirements in the energy sector.

But the deficiencies and delays in all the countries of the Western Balkans are severe, resulting in a considerable lag in the implementation of the Third Energy Package.

Highly dependent on lignite (coal)

Lignite dependence is almost absolute, since coal is the main fuel for electricity generation, reflecting obsolete infrastructure.

As a result, there are significant losses due to the situation in which the electricity distribution networks are part of.

The picture of hydroelectric power generation is better, although the rates vary from one country to another (Albania 24%, Kosovo 1%).

Things look better as far as RES are concerned

The Renewable Energy Industry has steadily marked a positive course in the Western Balkan countries Indeed, the contribution of RES to electricity generation is on average higher than that of EU countries.

However, there are no predictions that a country will be able to achieve the European “20/20/20” triple energy target (20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 20% increase in RES and 20% more energy efficiency by 2020).

In any case, hydroelectric units are holding the reins, as the share of wind, photovoltaics and geothermal energy could be described even as negligible.

Timber covers a large part of the heating and domestic consumption needs, which has a serious impact on the environment and on health.

The region is highly dependent on Russian gas and its transit through Ukraine

In this sense the Trans-Adriatic gas Pipeline (TAP), as well as the planned Ionian-Adriatic gas Pipeline, are of the highest importance for the diversification of the region’s energy supply routes and sources.

TAP is designed to bring in around 10 bcma of natural gas from Azerbaijan via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas (TANAP) pipeline, Greece and Albania, and across the Adriatic Sea to Italy.

The TANAP/TAP pipeline could also be upgraded to almost double capacity with compressor stations.

In addition, the construction of the proposed 5 bcm Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) from Albania, through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Croatia (the IAP would be linked with the Krk LNG terminal) would bring natural gas to some areas of the region which are currently not gasified, such as Albania, Montenegro and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All countries, aside from Albania, have a negative oil balance higher than 5 per cent of GDP…/IBNA