Kosovo, the first in the region to use solar energy for district heating

The Ministry of Finance, Labor and Transfers has today signed the "Solar for Kosovo - District Heating Project", which makes Kosovo the first country in the Western Balkans to use solar energy for district heating.

The project is worth over 80 million euros and includes two grants from KfW and the EU in the amount of 31.6 and 21.5 million euros respectively, while the rest of the project is financed by a loan from the EBRD in the amount of 23.2 million.  

The District Heating Project envisages the construction of a solar power plant, which uses the sun's energy for central heating and also increases the heating capacity through the expansion of the network for another 50 MW. This innovative technology enables collecting solar energy during the summer, storing it, and then using the stored energy for central heating during the winter.

“These new capacities will ensure access to the central heating system for about 38 thousand citizens, which will replace the individual heating systems, and at the same time will also address the chronic problem of air pollution in Pristina" said the Minister Murati.   

“Kosovo’s transition to green energy is our common goal. The solar heating plant is the latest EU investment in that direction, but it is far from being the only one. The EU will support the energy transition and sustainable development of Kosovo through another 100-megawatt solar electricity project with the Kosovo Energy Cooperation,’’ said the EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog.

The EU’s contribution to solar heating and solar electricity projects will total almost EUR 56 million.

"Germany has supported Kosovo on its way to transition from coal to sustainable energy, and decarbonization in accordance with the objectives of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. Solar4Kosovo is based on this common heritage of our cooperation with Kosovar institutions, the EU and other donors, so we are proud that together we have made such a pioneering project possible" said the Deputy German Ambassador to Kosovo, Mathias Conrad.

“Thanks to this project, many families in Pristina will stop burning coal and wood to heat their homes, which would in itself significantly increase their air quality and reduce CO2 emissions. But this new heat will be “green” as well. I am very proud to be here today and to sign this project with our partners. Yet another great investment in Pristina under the EBRD’s Green Cities Framework” said Charlotte Ruhe, Managing Director of the EBRD for Central and South-Eastern Europe.

Finally, on behalf of the Government of Kosovo, Minister Murati thanked the German Government, the European Union, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for supporting this project.

The project represents the largest solar energy investment in the district heating sector in the region and one of the largest solar power plants in Europe. As such, the project marks a historic moment on Kosovo's path towards a decarbonized energy system in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.