Solar Water Heating systems installed at the Orphan House in Tirana

12 Mar 2013

imagesolar water heating system installed at the Orphan House in Tirana. Credit: UNDP Albania

To promote the technology of solar water heating in Albania, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities/State Social Service with support of UNDP Climate Change Programme inaugurated today the installment of solar water heating system at the Orphan House in Tirana.

The system installed is also coupled with monitoring equipment, which enables accurate data on its efficiency. Such data may be useful to further promote the system in Albania.

The average consumption for sanitary hot water at the Orphan’s House was 180.000 ALL per month. With the installed solar thermal system it is expected that the production cost of sanitary hot water to be reduced with 2/3 of current consumption. It means that the energy and fuel consumption for this purpose should not be more than 60,000 ALL per month or 67% less compared with the previous conventional system.

Mr. Dael Dervishi, General Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy who attended the event highlighted: “During the period 2009 – 2013 the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy supported by the UNDP/GEF project has undertaken several tasks to monitor the solar thermal systems’ area installed so far in Albania and as well to predict the future market penetration for households, service and industry (public and private sector) taking into consideration the new legislation on Renewable Energy to get soon endorsed. "

Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative who attended the event, amongst others highlighted: “The Solar Water Heating is one of the promising technologies in Albania that can reduce electricity and fuel wood consumption with a significant contribution towards greenhouse gas emission reduction. Under the Solar Water Heating Initiative, UNDP is partnering at central and local level in order to upscale initiatives like this one in the public buildings and social centers throughout Albania to support quality services to different groups in need”.

Mr. Arben Demeti, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration who attended the event among others highlighted: “The project consists not only in the installation of Solar Water Heating pilot systems, but it has a major objective, the consolidation of the legislative basis for the use of solar energy, which so far has not been fully exploited even though there is a great perspective in the Albanian climatic conditions. The use of solar panels for hot water does not bring only energy savings, but it has also a significant environmental impact due to conventional fuels savings, both oil and fuel wood, which savings in turn lead to a better air quality and to our forest conservation.”

Mrs. Denada Seferi, Director of Social Policy, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, among other things said: “This initiative is not only a simple energy related intervention, it impacts directly the life quality of children living here. In this line, we have adopted an action plan and a major reform to improve all social services and such a project inspires us to continue the transformation of all social care institutions. The Ministry and the State Social Service will continue to collaborate with UNDP through a detailed action plan to enable such intervention in all our social care institutions".

Similar Solar Thermal Systems are installed in several guesthouses in Thethi, in the building of the National Agency for Natural Resources, in several Vocational Training Centers throughout Albania, and expected to be soon installed in a number of social public buildings in Tirana, Lezha, Shkoder, Fier, Berat, etc. with the Elderly’ s House in Tirana being the next one.

According to the National Energy Strategy, Albania’s National Communications to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Technology Needs Assessment, 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. Using solar water heating systems, one may save around 30% - 50% of the electricity used for sanitary hot water preparation. A well dimensioned solar water heater may cover up to 70% of the respective demand for hot water throughout the year.

The Albanian Government with the support of UNDP through the Global Environment Facility is implementing a project which facilitates the installation of 75,000 m2 of new installed collector area over the duration of the project, an annual sale of 20,000 m2 aiming to reach the set target of 520,000 m2 of total installed SWH capacity by 2020. The greenhouse gas emissions reduction resulting from this alternative scenario has been estimated at 146,000 tons of CO2 per year in 2020 or at the cumulative amount of over 800,000 tons of CO2 by 2020.