World Bank May Withdraw Loan Support for Kosovo Coal Plant
The World Bank may be on the verge of withdrawing loan guarantees for the last coal-fired generating station left on its books, the Kosovo C power plant in Pristina, as its investment priorities shift increasingly toward renewable energy.
The bank last reviewed Kosovo’s power sector in 2011 and concluded that the coal plant was the preferred option to meet the country’s electricity needs. But a new review is almost complete, and a spokesperson hinted to Climate Home News that attitudes may be evolving.
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“The pace of technology change in the energy sector is moving fast, especially in renewables, such as solar, wind, and storage, where prices continue to decline,” he said. “Our analysis is taking into account these developments and we are keeping the government informed.”
Kosovo Economic Development Minister Valdrin Lluka, who met with senior World Bank officials last week, did not reply to Climate Home’s request for comment. But Visar Azemi, coordinator of the Kosid, a network of Kosovan NGOs, said it would make better economic sense for the country to pursue a combination of renewables, energy efficiency, and a grid interconnection from Albania.
“The price of renewables has been going down repeatedly every year, so we have a completely new reality now,” Azemi said, adding that the project would have undercut Kosovo’s dream of becoming a part of the European Union.
“The only way for Kosovo to join the EU in the near future is to move this way,” he told Climate Home. “Otherwise, we would have been penalizing the new state of Kosovo with dirty energy and putting it on the wrong pathway.”