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 through legal and market based instruments solar water heating technology. UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration 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 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.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • Various municipalities such as Tirana, Lezha, Shkodra are beneffiting from legal and technical assistance in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency with a focus on solar water heating.
  •  Various non/public institutions and social centers applied solar water heating systems financed partly by the project and co-financed by the respective partners such as :the National Agency for Natural Resources, Guesthouses in the mountainous remote area of Thethi, Vocational Training Centers, the Orphans House and the Elderly House in Tirana, the health centers of Petrela and Preza.
  • Other feasibility studies and technical specifications are prepared for SWH systems to be installed during 2013 in about 10 social buildings throughout the country.
  • The National Action Plan on Renewable Energy supported by UNDP sets the target of 38% of renewable energies share (solar included) constituting Albania binding target by 2020 to EU energy community treaty;
  • Various capacity building activities combined with hands on practical experience were offered to:

68 architects, building engineers and other professionals in the building sector

23 importers, energy engineers, local representatives and other policy makers

173 students of polytechnic University in Albania

46 SWH systems’ installers and 5 domestic SWH systems’ producers

25 media representatives

  • The project has also introduced an innovative SWH calculation tool/software available online aiming at increased awareness on financial benefits of using solar for water heating
  • At mid-term, nearly 40,000 m2 of new SWH capacity has been installed in Albania, which accounts for more than 50% of the expected final impact;
  • In cooperation with the Swiss Solar Consortium 5 Albanian solar producers  are in the process of technology improvement leading to certification of their products in line with International/EU requirements.

Who finances it?



Year

Donors

Amount contributed  USD

2009

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 

36.000

2010

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

244.975

2011

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

346.893

2012

GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government

310.437

Delivery

Year

Total delivery

2012

$ 230.430,50

2011

$ 294.231,10

2010

 $ 242.575,95

2009

$ 14.154,15

Project Overview
Status
Active
Project duration
September 2009 - April 2014
Geographic coverage
Nationwide
MDG
1,7
Programme Officer
Elvita Kabashi
Project Manager
Mirela Kamberi
Partners
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy; Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration; Ministry of Public Works and Transportation; Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities; Ministry of Education and Sciences; Ministry of Finance; Local Government; Swiss Government; Institute of Statistics; Institute “Harry Fultz”; Albania-EU Energy Efficiency Center; Private sector of solar energy; Services sector; Household Sector; Banking Sector; NGOs interested in the field of energy, construction & environment