February 3, 2023 | Friday

Kosovo Fund for Energy Efficiency supporting public and residential institutions with energy efficient measures

In the continuous efforts to achieve the objectives of efficient energy, precisely the reduction of energy consumption and cost, as well as the reduction of environmental pollution, the government of Kosovo, with the co-financing of the European Union in Kosovo and the World Bank, in 2019 established the Kosovo Fund for Energy Efficiency (KFEE). Since then, from KFEE more than 32,000 citizens of Kosovo have benefited from efficient energy measures installed in public institutions throughout 22 municipalities in Kosovo managed by the KFEE.

To understand more about the fund’s activities, we spoke with Ahmet Ismaili, Managing Director and board member of the Kosovo Fund for Energy Efficiency (KFEE).

Ahmet Ismaili – Managing Director and Board Member of the Kosovo Fund for Energy Efficiency (KFEE).

EH: Can you tell us more about the Kosovo Fund for Energy Efficiency (KFEE)?

AI: KFEE as an independent, autonomous and sustainable entity was established by the Law on Energy Efficiency (No. 06/L-079), in 2019, with the aim of achieving Kosovo’s objectives in the field of energy efficiency (EE) , promoting, supporting and implementing energy efficiency measures. KFEE attracts and manages funds with the aim of investing in projects in a sustainable manner, serving as the primary financing institution for EE measures in Kosovo.

KFEE was established with the support of the European Union (EU), the World Bank (WB) and the Government of Kosovo (GK), as a joint effort to consolidate the sector with multiple positive effects. At the same time, these institutions (EU, WB and GK) are also the main donors and financiers of KFEE. While the donation provided by the EU and financing with concessional loans from the World Bank, was realized with international agreements ratified by the Assembly of Kosovo, the financing by the Government of Kosovo was realized through the annual Law on budget allocations by the Ministry of Economy.

EH: In 2021, KFEE has launched two calls for municipalities for project proposals for the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Can you tell us more?

AI: In the framework of its projects, KFEE, through a competition process, has selected 90 projects, of which 70 were initially contracted, of which more than half have already been completed and the rest are expected to be completed by the second half of this year.

Beneficiary: School “Shaban Shala” Podujevë/Podujevo – reduction of energy consumption by 74% or 290 MWh per year after the implementation of energy-efficient measures

The selection criteria are based on the methodology defined in the international agreement, with the main criterion for benefiting from this investment being that the facility is owned by the municipality and that it is feasible based on the audit. A total of 22 municipalities of the Republic of Kosovo are part of this project, while the number of direct beneficiaries from these investments is 32 thousand citizens from all nationalities living in Kosovo.

EH: What energy efficient measures have been installed and will be installed in the selected municipal projects?

AI: KFEE in selected municipal projects aims to improve the energy performance of buildings through full investments in the external envelope of public buildings (thermal insulation of external walls, thermal insulation of the roof as well as the installation of efficient windows), changing the heating system from non- efficient heating system with biomass (pellets) or heat pumps, efficient LED lighting and solar panels as well as other measures depending on the results of the energy audit and agreements with the beneficiaries.

Reduction of energy costs by 70% or 468 MWh per year, after the investment of 105,000 euros in the Gymnasium “Hamez Jashari” in Skenderaj

EH: So far, how many institutions have benefited from the efficient energy measures installed, and what are the concrete results?

AI: The contracted total of investments (realized and in process) is 10 million euros, with expected energy savings of 18 GWh per year or about 64% of total consumption, where the savings varies from 25%-70% depending on the project. Thus, KFEE contributes directly to the achievement of the goals of the energy strategy, the quality of indoor environments, bringing positive effects to the environment and society in general.

EH: What are the future activities of KFEE?

AI: KFEE has completed the procurement procedures and within February of this year it is expected to start the implementation of contracts for energy efficiency measures for 20 new projects in 6 beneficiary municipalities for package 3 (package of 2023), also financed by EU, WB and KG, as co-financing. The tendering procedures were successfully completed, as were the agreements for energy services with the beneficiary municipalities. With this, the total number of projects completed or in the process of completion reaches 90, which are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Reduction of energy consumption by 60% after the investment of 46,000 euros in the facility of the Health House in the village of Old Colony, in Novobërdo

What distinguishes this year, which will be the most challenging at the same time, is that the KFEE will for the first time start implementation in projects in the residential sector, as part of the emergency response measures of the energy package provided by the European Commission (IPA) with the help of 75 million euros for Kosovo, of which 20 million euros will be transferred to KFEE according to the Action Plan. This is also the largest investment in this sector, with the aim of intervening in the residential sector with a focus on vulnerable groups and consumers and in energy poverty, intervening in public collective housing facilities (social housing, or similar) as well as individual houses throughout Kosovo. The necessary calls and processes will be carried out in the following months, with an inclusiveness in the consultations in order to find the best combination of criteria and conditions that offers optimal and efficient results, and with the necessary and persistently targeted transparency.

EH: Something to add for the end?

AI: I t is important to mention that KFEE has also benefited from the technical assistance and international experiences of WB experts and consultants, which also on behalf of the EU helps and monitors the implementation of our projects.

Undoubtedly, the EU has played a central role in the establishment, financing and full functionality of KFEE, through continuous support, for which, on behalf of the governing bodies and staff, I express my sincerest thanks.

In particular, the latest package to respond to the energy crisis, provided as a grant by the Government through IPA, to start measures in the residential sector, marks the most culminating moment of cooperation but also effective in this sector, at the most appropriate time.

This support and this year will undoubtedly be recorded as an important moment for KFEE, towards the transition to the residential sector, enabling full implementation of the legal mandate, building the necessary capacities and sustainable financing schemes, this process is ongoing , which is also supported by WBIF with technical expertise, the model of which is expected to be completed this year, and the implementation of measures with the rolling scheme in the residential sector for 2024.

For this and projects in the energy sector, partnership and close cooperation with the EU will continue to deepen, including joint educational and stimulating campaigns towards clean and efficient energy.