Kosovo's energy network gains independence from Serbia

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 21, 2020 16:52

Kosovo's energy network gains independence from Serbia

A new agreement was signed on Tuesday between the Kosovo Energy System and the European Network of Electricity Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), paving the way for the independence of Kosovo's energy system.

A statement from the Kosovo Electricity System, Transmission and Market Operator (KOSTT) said that after Tuesday's voting, KOSTT and the Republic of Kosovo will finally exit the SMM Regulatory Block (Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia) and will join the Kosovo-Albania Energy Regulatory Block.

KOSTT officials said in a statement that "this is a historical day for KOSTT and for all of Kosovo. With today's developments, even in terms of energy, KOSTT and the Republic of Kosovo are independent from Serbia,"addding that tit will pave the way for KOSTT's integration in the regional energy market, participation in the Albanian Energy Exchange ( APEX) as well as the commissioning of the 400 kilovolt Kosovo-Albania line.

The signing of the agreement was welcomed by several leaders of institutions, political parties and embassies.

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, wrote that "the conclusion of the long and arduous process of independence of the Kosovo energy network has begun, despite the resistance of Serbia. This is a great achievement of Kosovo and an example of how to move forward towards achieving our strategic goals. We are grateful to all our international friends for their continued support and assistance in the implementation of this agreement."

Prime Minister Albin Kurti said the new agreement would enable the operation as a single energy bloc between Kosovo and Albania. In a post on Facebook, Kurti said that "as an internationally recognized operator, KOSTT will have access to cross-border mechanisms which create easier opportunities in the regional market for our operators. This will be reflected in additional revenue for KOSTT. Our direct losses from non-participation in international mechanisms reach up to 8 million euros per year, while the indirect ones are estimated to be even higher," adding that this is a great achievement for Kosovo.

The agreement was also welcomed by the German Embassy in Pristina, which called it a historic moment for Kosovo and for cooperation in the region.

A statement from the embassy said: "This is the result of a long journey in which Germany has always stood by the governments and institutions of Kosovo. We jointly believe in benefiting from our cooperation on regional sustainability and we are convinced that the ENTSO-E League Agreement is essential for further economic development in the region. The citizens of Kosovo of all communities will benefit in the end,."

Kosovo's inclusion in the European energy system is expected to open the door to its connection to Albania's energy network, an agreement signed in December last year between the two energy operator systems.

Kosovo and Serbia had signed an agreement in European Union-mediated talks under which KOSTT and the Serbian System Operator (EMS) were to start operating as two independent regulatory zones in line with the requirements of the European System of Operators Network of Electricity Transmission (ENTSO).

However it has not yet been implemented, similar to many of the agreements reached in the talks aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 21, 2020 16:52