The energy ministry of Kosovo said Monday (15 August) that it would cancel planned power cuts as it had secured electricity from neighboring Albania. However, it didn’t say how long it would last.
Albania, which relies on hydropower, is now facing drought and will need to import energy.
Earlier, KEDS, Kosovo’s energy distribution firm, began power cuts at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT), due to a shortage of domestic production and high import costs.
Viktor Buzhala, spokesperson for KEDS, stated that consumers will be able to take six hours off and two on.
Kosovo and Albania have reached an agreement to share electricity. Kosovo’s homes are heated more in winter, while Albanians need more air conditioning in summer.
Buzhala stated that KEDS received only 500 MWh/h of lignite power plant and renewables, and that KEDS consumed up to 800 MWh/h.
KEDS, the country’s transmission operator, stated that it could not afford to import electricity, and instead must rely on domestic production in a statement issued Sunday, 14 August.
Kosovo produces about 90% of its electricity from coal. The power utility KEK claims it has shut down nearly half of its generators to perform regular maintenance in preparation for winter.
Winter tends to see more than twice the electricity consumption.
“If we get blackouts now what will happen in winter?” Are we going to freeze? said Pristina resident Milaim Berisha.
Similar power cuts were implemented last December when consumption reached record highs as temperatures fell below freezing.
Kosovo’s parliament declared an energy emergency for 60 days earlier this month to assist the government in coping with the crisis.
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