By Dr Lorenc Gordani, Legal Adviser in Albania Energy Market
The dependency of the European Union on energy imports forms the backdrop for policy concerns related first of all with the security of energy supplies. More than half (53.5%) of the EU-28’s gross inland energy consumption and 31% of the SEE in 2014, came from imported sources. Then, the EU have brought a strongly contribute to the Western Balkans six (WB6) countries, that all together to came at the commitment of the Sustainability Charter on 4 July 2016, in Paris. An agreement that tap into the high potential of region for energy savings and renewable energy generation.
The broad region – encompassing the newest European Union (EU) member states and others in the EU-led Energy Community – has adopted near-term renewable energy targets for 2020. It also aims to align itself with the EU commitment to achieve at least 27% share of renewables in energy consumption by 2030. Renewable energy development is still at an early stage in South East Europe. Apart from the large hydropower capacity, mostly constructed several decades ago, renewables have just started to take off in a few countries.
WB6 countries are signatories of the Energy Community Treaty (ECT) and accordingly, they are obliged to implement the entire EU legislative framework in the energy sector. This applies mostly to the ownership, organisation and operations of the natural monopoly such as the electrical transmission and distribution networks, in accordance with the EU 3rd Energy Legislation Package which is mandatory for all Contracting Parties (CP) to the Energy Community (EnC).
However, unlike in cases of grid networks, the obligations of the hydropower operator, i.e. the environmental and investment obligations and royalties, and support schemes for small renewable resources, as well as the water management, a coordination and common approach does not exist at regional and WB6 level. This put in difficulty, the improving of the governance for energy efficiency, implementing smart support measures, improving sustainability of energy systems, and fostering climate action and transparency of sustainable energy markets.
Nerveless, for the most important granting rights, the Public Private Partnership referred inter alias 3P is putted in place in all the Western Balkans (WBs), first of all due to the budget restriction and limit of expenditure, in accordance with IFI’s. This set of law, have a strong economic impact through the legal procedures! The problem may be that the all is not understand, and in contrary, it is seen (and taken) only the complexity of institutional-organisational framework, in different way from one country to another WB6.
For more on above please find the related presentation Legal Granting Issues on Hydroelectric Resources in the Western Balkans kept by Dr Lorenc Gordani.
 Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe, Irena, January 2017
 As report in the study Regional Hydro Master-Plan (Draft), WBIF, March 2017.