Bureaucracy hinders potential hydropower investors

Bureaucracy continues to be one of the obstacles for foreign investors. This is the main worry of potential investors in construction of hydropower plants, who are not stimulated to invest in Kosovo due to the lengthy procedures and the large number of licenses needed for construction. This is also one of the official reasons for the lack of investments in this sector. The Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Dardan Gashi, admitted that there were times when investors have backed away because of the large number of licenses and permits necessary for the construction and operation of a hydropower plants.

“The procedures are lengthy, since investors must not only obtain licenses and permits from the Energy Regulatory Office, but from our Ministry also. This has caused some investors to back away, “said Gashi. In Kosovo, the energy produced by water can reach a capacity of 450 MW.

However, according to him, a foreign investor is soon expected to complete all procedures and start with the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in Dukagjin region with a capacity of 105 MW.

So far, the Kosovo Government has not initiated a study to seek possibilities for alternative energy production, except the one produced from lignite.

Currently, installed capacities from hydropower reach a total of 45.9 MW. In this total, the largest contributor is the main hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of 35 MW. It is followed by Lumbardhi with 8.8 MW, Radavci with 0.28 MW, Burimi with 0.48 MW and HC Dikanca with 1.34 MW.

According to a study conducted by Berkeley University in California, Kosovo can produce up to 450 MW from the water. This study finds that in the most pessimistic scenario, Kosovo can produce 62.7 MW from small hydropower plants and 305 MW from the Zhur hydropower plant.