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Even with some of the worst air in Europe, the lignite-rich Balkan nation says it can’t afford cleaner energy.7 November 2018
“The World Bank has recommended to us to have a 400 MW solar park, a 170 MW wind park and a 350 MW battery storage park. We don’t have that luxury to do such experiments in a poor country such as Kosovo. It is a major risk. It is in our national security interest to secure base energy inside our territory,” Valdrin Lluka, Kosovo’s minister for economic development, told Reuters.
The World Bank said in October that it didn’t support a 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, after the government had asked it for partial risk guarantees meant to unlock cheaper loans to finance the project, Reuters wrote.
Bank President Jim Yong Kim said its rules required it to support the lowest cost option, which is currently renewable energy.
Kosovo’s heavy reliance on lignite, the most polluting form of coal, takes a toll on its air quality. For a few days in late January, Pristina was the most polluted city in the world, surpassing even smog-bound Chinese cities, according to data provided by the U.S. Embassy. U.S. officials deemed the pollution level in Pristina “hazardous” and advised people to stay inside.
During a two-day parliamentary debate that winter, Environment Minister Albena Reshitaj said the government planned to close the oldest coal plant, Kosovo A, modify another, and follow through on 13 years of promises by building a third, modern plant.
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Transitions magazine = Your one-stop source for news, research and analysis on the post-communist region.
Sign up for the free TOL newsletter!
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.