Dear Ministers, Honored Guests,
As you know, the World Bank approved a US$31 million credit for the Republic of Kosovo to reduce energy consumption and fossil fuel use in public buildings through energy efficiency and renewable energy investments; and enhance the policy and regulatory environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
As we know, the energy sector is critical for the economic development of Kosovo. Investing in energy efficiency in public buildings can save the public budget some €18 million every year while improving the operating conditions and comfort levels of the buildings for the benefits of its users. Energy efficiency can also help enhance energy security by reducing seasonal energy imports, create local jobs, reduce local and global pollution and help meet the commitments under the Energy Community Treaty.
The World Bank is pleased that the government has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of its energy strategy and is pleased to partner with the Ministry on this important agenda.
While the project had a slow start, I am very pleased to report that the ministry of Economic Development has made remarkable progress over the past two years, with 12 buildings completed, 20 under renovation and 25 under the bidding phase. We expect that about 55 buildings will be completed by the end of this year, bringing the project implementation back on schedule.
For the 12 complete buildings, the renovated buildings will save about 100,000 MWh over their lifetimes, and have an average energy savings of about 52% showing the huge energy savings potential is achievable. The renovations have benefited about 4,000 employees and users and led to significant increases in internal comfort levels with very high satisfaction rates.
Each building benefited from an energy audit which identified all cost-effective measures which typically included roof and wall insulation, replacement of windows and doors, lighting retrofits and upgrading of the heating systems. The project also installed solar water heating systems in 8 buildings and reconnected 1 building to the Termokos heating system.
While most of the credit has been allocated to central government buildings, the World Bank is working with the Ministry and European Commission to finalize the joint plan to establish and capitalize a new Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund to support municipal buildings.
The draft law for the proposed Fund is expected to be approved by the government next month. This Fund would provide financing for municipal building renovations and collect the energy cost savings in order to repay the investment cost, thereby creating a sustainable structure. This would allow the government to address the more than 1,600 municipal buildings in need of renovation.