Ambassador Jeffrey M. Hovenier Remarks at the Kosovo Solar Forum 2 – Unlocking Investment in Renewable Energy, July 22, 2022
Prime Minister Kurti, Minister Rizvanolli, colleagues from the Government of Kosovo, members of the private sector, distinguished guests: good afternoon.
Artane, thank you for the kind introduction. I am honored to join you today to represent the U.S. Government at the second Kosovo Solar Forum.
This forum is exciting for many reasons, but the most important is that it brings together key members of Kosovan society – across public and private sectors.
And you are all here to work towards solving one of this country’s most significant challenges – energy.
As any of us in public service can attest, very few – if any – of our biggest challenges can be solved by the government alone.
That’s why I am so pleased to support the Government of Kosovo’s efforts to increase collaboration with the private sector, and to raise awareness of the extensive opportunities for private sector investment in Kosovo’s emerging renewable solar energy industry.
As you explore today’s forum, you will learn about small-scale opportunities, rooftop solar panels for households and businesses, and new innovations in large-scale solar power development.
These innovations have enormous potential to revolutionize Kosovo’s power generation at all levels.
Here in Kosovo, the U.S. supports programs across the energy sector. Our main goals are to enhance private sector investments to integrate renewable energy sources into the existing power grid, and to lower costs and increase access to affordable and sustainable energy.
And Kosovo is ready for more investment in this sector. It has clear geographic advantages and is a crucial piece to a fully interconnected energy grid, serving not only Kosovo, but also the region. Now is the time to unlock this solar potential.
I recognize that it is not easy to balance energy security and affordability for Kosovans, while simultaneously ensuring Kosovo’s long-term commitment to decarbonization.
And the conflict in Ukraine has only made this all harder, particularly given its impact on regional and global energy markets and pricing.
But despite this, the Government of Kosovo is showing leadership in making this tremendous commitment to expand Kosovo’s renewable energy generation capacity.
The United States commends the government of Kosovo for its progress in finalizing the new ten-year Energy Strategy and developing the draft Law on Renewable Energy Resources.
We are also pleased that the Government is taking concrete steps to make it easier to invest in solar – like expanding the land-GIS portal, which gives solar developers the information they need to assess available project sites.
Similarly, we are working with the Energy Regulatory office – whom I want to publicly thank for their great work in quickly issuing a supply license for Elektrosever to help solve the problem with lack of payment for electricity in the north.
We are also working with the ERO to develop a more expansive Rule on the “Prosumers” initiative which applies to those that both produce and consume electricity, which makes it easier for them to link up to the country’s grid.
To improve Kosovo’s energy future, the government and other energy institutions must play a key role in working with local and international investors, commercial banks, and the broader business community across the marketplace. Issuing permits for potential investors, laying the foundation for competitive energy auction tenders, and other steps like these are key to making investments in solar an easy decision for all of you.
After today, I look forward to hearing about many more!
On behalf of the U.S. Government, I want to congratulate the Government of Kosovo for its vision in recognizing the critical role renewable energy will play in transforming Kosovo, and its leadership in building its sustainable energy future.
We look forward to continuing our steadfast partnership and collaboration to advance our common goals: to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, and to fully integrate renewable energy as a foundation for the next decade of Kosovo’s energy development.