WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$31 million Kosovo Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project that aims to reduce energy consumption and fossil fuel use in public buildings. Through these investments, the Bank is supporting Kosovo in implementing a comprehensive energy strategy, and enhancing the policy and regulatory environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Kosovo has considerable potential to increase the efficiency of energy use and integrate renewable sources into its energy supply mix,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “This project will help to demonstrate the environmental benefits and economic viability of the country’s energy strategy, which seeks to secure a cleaner mix of energy in a sustainable and affordable manner.”
Energy efficiency investments in the public sector can significantly lower energy costs, creating fiscal space for other development priorities, while enhancing competitiveness and job creation. International experience has shown that investments in energy efficiency in the public sector can help to catalyze energy efficiency markets, allowing governments to lead by example and pave the way for similar improvements in the private sector.
A 2013 World Bank market assessment in Kosovo showed that the building sector accounts for 48 percent of final energy consumption, and has an energy efficiency potential of about 44 percent. Public buildings showed the highest savings potential at 38-47 percent in municipal buildings, and up to 49 percent in central government buildings. These savings could contribute to substantial budgetary savings for the Government of Kosovo and make space for other necessary investments in the economy.
Central and municipal governments are expected to benefit from the project through reduced energy expenditures, a renovated building stock, and improved indoor comfort and functionality. The Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, the Kosovo Energy Efficiency Agency, and the Energy Regulatory Office will develop their capacity to foster sustainable energy investments across the country.
The private sector will also benefit in several ways. An improved regulatory environment is expected to facilitate faster licensing and greater market entry for renewable energy development. Renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment suppliers and service providers are expected to benefit from increased demand for their goods and services. By modernizing and lowering the energy use of universities and hospitals, students and patients will benefit from improved comfort levels, functionality, and reduced air pollution.
The Kosovo Energy Efficiency Agency will be the main agency responsible for the technical implementation of the proposed project.