The Country Program of Albania under the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative

What is the project about?

Guesthouse in Theth village (north of Albania) equipped with solar water heaters.Guesthouse in Theth village (north of Albania) equipped with solar water heaters. (Credit: UNDP Albania)

The initial idea of the project came from the National Energy Strategy and the previous climate change studies such as the Albania’s First National Communication and Technology Needs Assessment, which do promote and recommend Solar Water Heating (SWH) as one of the promising technologies to reduce electricity and fuel wood consumption with a significant contribution towards greenhouse gas emission reduction.

According to the mentioned studies, over 70% of domestic hot water needs of the household and service sector in Albania is supplied by electric boilers, while the energy demand for hot water in Albania is projected to grow from 600 GWh in 2000 to 875 GWh in 2015, in the residential sector alone.

Upon Government of Albania’s request to increase the share of solar thermal energy in the country, UNDP and GEF support solar water heating technology through legal and market based instruments. UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Ministry of Environment is working to reach the target of 75,000 m2 of new installed collector area over the duration of the project, as well as an annual sale of 20,000 m2 with expected continuing growth to reach the set target of 520,000 m2 of total installed SWH capacity by 2020. This is estimated to correspond to over 300 MW of avoided, new fossil fuel power capacity by using solar instead of electricity for water heating, and estimated cumulative GHG reduction potential of over 800,000 tons of CO2 by the end 2020.  

The sustainable growth of the market will be secured by an i) enabling policy framework, ii) increased awareness and advocacy iii) available financing mechanism iv) supply of reliable technology and services and v) replication.


Other components of the Project:
i)    A Comprehensive, Climate-Resilient Approach to Sustainable Hydropower for Albania (Small Hydro Power Plants – SEA

The objective of the proposed project supported by the Delivery Results Together Fund is to support the development of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) addressing the development of the SHPP sector at the regional (basin) level in Albania. The project will strengthen the capacity of the Government of Albania to integrate SEAs into energy and environmental decision-making, and it will provide valuable information that is urgently needed by all stakeholders.

ii)    Municipal energy tracking PLATFORM IN Albania  

A new and innovative initiative is supported by the UNDP Catalytic Fund aiming the establishment of an efficient energy management system and other management tools to monitor and control energy use by municipalities, organization of energy audits, implementation of low-cost EE/RE measures (demo-projects), preparation of bankable projects, facilitating their financing through existing EE/RE Facilities in Albania and the upscale of the project at the national level to enable financing through the Green Climate Fund.


What have we accomplished so far?

  • Promotion of legal and market based approaches to increase use of energy efficient and innovative solar water heating technology has continued: the RES Action Plan is endorsed (January, 2016), the RES Law is revised accordingly, ensuring the accordance with the European Directives and the new Power Sector Law (with the Parliamentary Commissions at last stage of its approval); and the Energy Performance in Buildings law got approved (November, 2016). Following the endorsement of the Energy Efficiency Law, and later on the one on Energy Performance in Buildings, due to the very fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, quite a heavy work  is undertaken to make operational the established EE Fund to secure sustainability of actions to transform SWH market: the statute and operational manual is drafted that way, the EE Fund to enlarge its scope (to be reflected within the new name of the Fund)  and get qualified as the national authority under the Green Climate Fund. Work will follow up in 2017 to assist the established Fund with (i) training sessions in project cycle management procedures; (ii) development of an informative package for the public and the applicants; and (iii) to fulfill the application for the EE Fund to get accredited with the GCF as NIE.

    •    Small grants scheme co-founded at municipal level associated with advocacy and capacity building activities has continued with new cooperation in Durres and Vlora municipalities. The installed cumulative area by the end of June 2016 is 186,472 m2, the annual sale is 21,602 m2 resulting to more than 990,000 tCO2 reduction (indirect CO2 reduction over the lifetime of solar collectors). In terms of evolution (growth) of the penetration rate for SWH attributed to the project, it has gone from 17.9 m2/1000 inhabitants in 2009 to 66.2 m2/1000 inhabitants in 2016; A great number of trainings are delivered to representatives of the SWH supply chain (Arch., Eng., Instructors, students, municipal staffs, etc.). A new cooperation has started with Tirana Polytechnic University to provide a Design Manual of the SWH systems for the needs of the Scientific Masters’ Programs on Renewable Energy and associated with training courses to students of Energy, Environment, Architecture, and Building engineers. More interventions are expected in public buildings with high consumption of hot water and follow-up the activities with the private sector uptake towards solar energy for water heating. The establishment of the EE Fund and the endorsement of the national Action Plan on RES would become important drivers for the sustainability of pilot projects and SWH market transformation.

    •    The development of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) addressing the development of the SHPP sector in Albania will strengthen the capacity of the Government of Albania to integrate SEAs into energy and environmental decision-making, and it will provide valuable information that is urgently needed by all stakeholders. Following the established MoU with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, targeted technical reports are provided, ensuring for the Baseline study for the SHPPs sector in Albania, involving the projected climate change and their impact on hydro resources, agriculture, forests, biodiversity, infrastructure and energy networks; the coordination with USAID is secured to ensure the Baseline and the Hydro scenarios build as part of the draft National Energy Strategy are fully part of the SEA analysis for the small hydro sector, a preliminary GIS database is built, following important stakeholders’ consultation with ministries responsible for environment, energy, water resources and territorial planning, their executing agencies and the academia and interested NGOs. Following, the SEA has started with the selection and on the site monitoring of a sample of 70 Small HPPs, based on which the policy related SEA will get finalized with due recommendations as per the SEA Protocol under the Aarhus Convention.

    •    The proposed municipal energy tracer platform/tool is expected to contribute to the establishment of an efficient energy management system and other management tools to monitor and control energy use by municipalities, organization of energy audits, implementation of low-cost EE/RE measures (demo-projects), preparation of bankable projects, facilitating their financing through existing EE/RE Facilities in Albania. A strong cooperation with Durres Municipality is established; as South-South cooperation, the experience of Croatia is shared via a hands on training organized on EMIS with representatives from Durres Municipality, the National Agency on Natural Resources and the Ministry of Energy and Industry and a very successful Exchange Tour organized to profit from EMIS implementation and the very good experiences/lessons learnt in the frame of the Croatian Eco Fund with high representatives from Ministries in charge with energy, environment, and finance and the Durres Municipality. The work has continued with the joint selection of 5 public buildings, which energy efficiency related data are gathered, tried through an EMIS mock version, out of which due recommendations are drawn,  while 4 out those buildings are expected to have soon their energy efficient feasibility studies/bankable projects finalized for the follow up from the Durres Municipality. In addition, the stakeholders’ consultation is progressing for a big project on energy efficient public buildings at municipal level for funds from Green Climate Fund (under preparation).

Who finances it?



Year

Donors

Amount contributed  

2009

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 

36.000 USD

2010

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

244.975 USD

2011

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

348.247 USD

2012

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

310.437 USD
2013 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 267.439 USD
2014 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 264.826 USD
2015 UNDP/ Albanian Government 264.826 USD
2016 UNDP/ Albanian Government 185.335 USD
2017 UNDP/ Albanian Government 93.908 USD
     
     
SEA for SHPPs in Albania
Year Donors Amount contributed 
2015

Delivery Results Together Fund

108.000 USD
2016 Delivery Results Together Fund

30.000 USD

     
     
Municipal energy tracking Platform in Albania 
Year Donors Amount contributed 
2016 UNDP Catalytic Fund 207.900 USD

Delivery

Year

Total delivery

2009

93.908 USD

2010

242.576 USD

2011

294.391 USD

2012

230.430 USD

2013

233.777 USD

2014

239.903 USD

2015 183.440 USD
   
   
SEA for SHPP in Albania
2016 100.875 USD
   
   
Municipal energy tracking Platform in Albania
2016 207.900 USD

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