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Dear Minister Lluka,
Dear Mr Mantovanelli,
Members of the Board
It is a great pleasure for me to be part of the launch of the first Kosovo Energy Efficiency Fund. The Fund will provide incentives for energy saving and cleaner energy in Kosovo. This is a very concrete step in implementing Kosovo European Reform Agenda.
This would not happen without hard work and close co-ordination by the teams in Kosovo government, World Bank and the EU. I would like to commend our main partners, especially Minister of Economy and his team, Ministry of Finance and the World Bank for excellent cooperation.
Energy sector and its reforms in Kosovo remains the key priority for the EU. Energy efficiency is at the core of these reforms.
While Kosovo is still facing challenges with reliable supply, energy efficiency is the only sustainable alternative, which enhances the security & resilience, creates jobs and improves the environment.
It is critical that reforms in energy sector in Kosovo progress in line with the Energy Community Treaty and with the SAA, with a view to gradual integration to Europe’s energy markets:
Energy Efficiency has always been and will remain on the focus of the EU funding in Kosovo. Over €19 million on implementation of energy efficiency measures in the public buildings by the EU in the past.
An EU funded project of around €6 million has just commenced in rehabilitation of the district heating network in Pristina. Energy savings will materialise by reducing the leakage of the hot water in the old pipelines. Several public buildings such as the national Theatre, faculty of architecture, primary schools, few kindergardens and apartment blocks in Kalabria, Mati and Sunny Hill will be connected as new consumers. Another EU funded project of €14 million for construction of a new district heating plant in Gjakova based on biomass is expected to start in the coming months.
The EU pledged €10 million to support the Energy Efficiency Fund, with co-funding by the Government and the World Bank. We expect the Fund to become the main instrument for boosting investments in energy efficiency in Kosovo.
In this endeavour, guidance of the Board and human capacities in the Fund is critical. In its work, the Fund needs to ensure both, professional service to the public and transparency in governance of the financial resources.
We expect the Fund will be fully staffed with professional team in the next 2 months so it can start implementation of energy efficiency projects in public buildings. It is very important that schools, kindergartens, health centres benefit from the Fund across Kosovo.
To make the fund sustainable, the investments will be gradually repaid by municipalities, so that the fund is replenished and is able to make more investments. The investment projects will be subsidised with EU grant so it will be easier for municipalities to ensure the payback.
At a later stage, we expect the Fund to start interventions in residential sector. This sector has even bigger potential for energy savings. It needs to advantage for the consumers: reduce energy bills, increase comfort of living, and enjoy cleaner environment.
I trust that Kosovo government and the Energy efficiency fund will combine efforts and take lead on reforms with clear impact on sustainable and greener Kosovo.
I wish the Fund a lot of success in its tasks.