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EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investment Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

ACERC is a think tank centre with focus on the Albania energy market and its integration in the regional IEM. The Acerc mission base on the in-depth knowledge of EU and regional energy law and policy and strives to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and effective integration as well as efficient use of energy resources.

Acerc
main activities briefly consists in build-up collaborations and supports to market players in study researches such as the certificate reports, articles and periodicals. The transfer of high expertise through building-up institutional capacities by national and regional training courses, seminars and conferences. The institutional representation and integration within framework of the forum of Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

A New Candidate for Energy Leadership – Albania? by Fron Nahzi

AEI Updates August 2015 Posted on Sat, August 29, 2015 23:09:46

Some of the world’s biggest countries
have been stepping up in recent days with wide-ranging plans to cut global
warming emissions in advance of a United Nations summit meeting write Gary Dirks and Fron Nahzi in Policy Review.And as nations that have long avoided
the subject turn their attention to the environment, Albania is showing promise
of becoming a leader in sustainable development in a region whose coal-based
systems have been major polluters.

Albania? The country that for the last couple of
decades has slid into the news only as a source of Balkan violence and
political and economic dysfunction?

Yes. With EU and US backing, the new government of Prime
Minister Edi Rama is working to rebuild the rule of law. His party’s resounding
win in local elections in June demonstrates public confidence in the ongoing
reforms and efforts to not only put Albania on track for EU membership but also
to generate solid investment opportunities that only a few years ago appeared
unattainable.

Renewable energy is a good example. When he
first took office in 2013, Rama started out by imposing strict
enforcement on the payment of electric bills, which 42 percent of users had not
been paying. He even sacked the deputy minister of environment for failing to
pay her electric bills. This showed that government ministers do not stand
above the law.

Now Rama can go further by expanding legal and
judicial reform to help Albania find a steady supply of affordable energy. To
do so will help free the country from the grips of corrupt officials and
attract much-needed foreign investment.

One attractive opportunity is the Trans Adriatic
Pipeline, which will bring natural gas from the Caspian across Albania to
Italy. While not a zero-carbon fuel, natural gas is cleaner than the coal
that dominates southeast Europe power generation, and natural gas power plants
can provide flexible and reliable power generation for the region.

A more exciting set of options can be explored with
the extensive network of dams in Albania by employing what’s called “pumped
storage” – storing and generating energy by moving water. As the European
grid expands into the Balkans, renewable power from northeast Europe, which at
times is in surplus, could be stored by an Albanian pumped storage
system. The same system would allow Albania to pursue domestic wind and
solar projects to power its own economy and to export to neighbors in need of
clean energy. Kosovo, Albania’s neighbor to the northeast, is also
seeking sources of reliable energy. Currently, Kosovo’s electric power is
sourced from two outdated, deteriorating, and highly polluting lignite-fired
power plants. Kosovo could benefit immediately from new energy sources
starting up in Albania.

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s reforms combined with EU
polices and emissions-trading systems provide a mutually beneficial opportunity
to Albania and potential multinational investors. To attract investors for these
projects, however, Albania needs to continue momentum away from its image as a
“mafia state” toward a nation rooted in the rule of law by implementing further
judicial reforms.

At a recent conference on Albania’s justice system,
top EU and US representatives applauded Rama’s reforms and emphasized that
these types of rigorous reforms must continue. Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, head
of the EU Delegation to Albania, noted, “The reform must also ensure full
independence of the prosecution from any political or other undue influence,
especially prosecution of high level corruption and organized crime
cases.”

In today’s turbulent investment climate,
multinationals have limited favorable geographic locations and political
environments where investments are likely to prove profitable – even fewer in the
clean energy sector. Albania is rapidly becoming an ideal prospect, but it must
ensure a hospitable business environment to attract the right investors.

Gary Dirks, is
Director, Arizona State University Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of
Sustainability and Fron Nahzi, is Global Business Development Director,
ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions



Mobilising investment for Europe’s Energy Union, Wednesday, 26 August, 2015

AEI Updates August 2015 Posted on Sat, August 29, 2015 13:36:56

The European Commission has agreed on a package of measures designed to ensure that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is up and running early autumn. EFSI will be the launchpad for investment in the areas of our economy that need it most, mobilising €315 billion worth of investment over the coming years. This will be crucial for Energy Union – an ambitious project needing significant investment – and its goals to deliver secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy to citizens and businesses. Over €1 trillion may be needed for the energy sector by 2020.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner said: “By 2030, we must improve our energy efficiency by at least 27%. And hopefully more, as I will work hard to go beyond the ‘at least 27% figure’. But for that to happen we need to boost energy efficiency investment in Europe. EFSI can be a driver to plug the investment gap needed in Europe’s energy transition to become the world’s most energy-efficient economy. I’m very encouraged to see that the fund is already supporting strategic energy efficiency projects, and that many more low-carbon projects are in the approval pipeline. “

EFSI: not just money

EFSI will help energy projects access long term financing. Investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and strategic infrastructure projects, such as gas and electricity grids, will be a key priority. This is particularly relevant for the energy efficiency sector, which has been suffering from chronic underinvestment. More than €100 billion will be invested every year to achieve the 2030 energy efficiency target: €89 billion in energy efficiency measures in buildings and some €19 billion to improve energy efficiency in industry. Current investments are below half of that.

A fund proven to work

The impact of this new guarantee fund is already visible. Five out of nine already approved projects in the infrastructure field relate to energy.

In France, the Fund financed a project to promote energy efficiency in the French housing. It funded regional and local initiatives on the energy renovation of private residential buildings. By improving the insulation of the buildings involved as well as renovating their heat generation, ventilation and distribution systems, the project will cut energy bills in more than 40,000 homes.

In Denmark, EFSI backed the creation of a Renewable Energy Fund; in Spain, it gave a long-term loan to a gas grid project and lent money for R&D activities of a renewables-oriented technology company. In Finland, it financed improvements in industrial processes of a Finnish pulp mill. And that’s not all: under EFSI, project promoters will receive the technical assistance they need to successfully prepare and financially structure their investments.

The Investment Plan for Europe: Questions and Answers