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Opinion / Editorial

The sun next to me?

The sun next to me?

For the production of electricity from solar panels, Albania is considered one of the most favorable countries in Europe. Compared to 2019, when it produced less than 1% of energy from the sun, today the country, thanks to the many installed photovoltaic panel plants, produces more than 3.5 percent of the total, or 3.5 times more. There are many examples of parks with solar panels here too. For example, in Topojë of Fier, one of the first projects for the production of energy from solar panels in Albania was realized in 2016. The park has an installed power of 10 megawatt-hours and was built near the coast of Seman, on an area of ??about 15 ha. This park is now in its eighth year of production. For the time it was built, it was an innovation. It has already become a part of energetic everyday life. Today we managed to get the first concrete fruits of energy created by solar sources. We have increased this production several times over the years. From less than 1 percent of the country's total energy production in 2018, to 3.5 percent of it today. The support schemes applied by the government have also had a great impact here. Currently, one of the largest parks, that of Karavasta, has started production, and why in the experimental phase. It has an area of ??198 ha and an investment value of 100 million euros. Partial production of electricity has started, while the 220 kV Fier -Karavasta transmission line has been put into operation. We also have a park around Seman and Topojë, in the Fier district, which has passed the last stages of testing and is expected to reach full capacity. These two parks have an installed capacity of 190 megawatts/hour produced, and from their technical parameters, we will have 350 megawatts/hours produced annually. This amount of energy is very large, serious. Meanwhile, the government has concluded contracts, planning other solar parks in Erseke, Seman. They are a chain of small parks, there are various studies, as the high demand has awakened the interest of investors. An important project is the photovoltaic park in the area of ??the former Ballsh Plant, which is in the process of work. Overall, this high number of solar parks is contributing to the country's electrical grid. It constitutes an important step towards the diversification of energy production sources, which currently depend in the vast majority on hydropower plants. With Karavastana, we have the sun closest to the South! We have the problem in the central and southern areas of Albania, since the long-distance transmission of the energy produced by the hydropower plants in the North comes with losses, with the problems of the flow of energy, as well as all the technical problems that accompany it. With the new projects, the government is contributing to bringing the source of electricity production closer to the consumer. The seasonal gap in our energy consumption, from summer to autumn, is gradually being covered.period when the rains end and we are forced to import. Solar energy from photovoltaics is exactly serving as a substitute. This substitute is worth a lot to the economy. The photovoltaic park of Karavasta has an installed power of 140 MW, while according to the agreement signed with the Albanian state, the well-known French company Voltalia foresees the sale of electricity at a fixed price of 24.89 euros/mWh, for 15 years, for the capacity of 70 MW. Meanwhile, the construction of the solar power plant in Spitalle is at an advanced stage. While the Vau de Deja hydropower plant, one of the largest and oldest hydropower plants in Albania, is turning into an integrated green energy production center. The 250 MW hydropower plant, located in the northwest of the country, has recently added a 5.1 MW solar power unit to its Qyrsaq dam. It is the first example in the Western Balkans of the combination of hydropower plants and photovoltaics. The Albanian Electric Corporation is developing a tendering procedure for the installation of a floating solar power plant in the reservoir of the Vaut deja hydropower plant. Solar panels are being used not only for the production of energy at the country level, but also to directly help the citizens. In December 2023, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy reopened applications for the second package of 2,000 solar panels for water heating for citizens, the cost of which will be subsidized to the extent of 70 percent by the State Budget. In the first call in November 2022, 4 thousand families applied. The main challenges for energy from the sun today are the transmission capacities, the improvement of the network and of course, the biggest challenge is the price of the energy exchange, which is a new market in our country. These challenges are being faced well by the government today and investors, foreign and Albanian, are optimistic.in the reservoir of the Vau de Deja hydropower plant. Solar panels are being used not only for the production of energy in the country, but also to directly help the citizens. In December 2023, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy reopened applications for the second package of 2,000 solar panels for water heating for citizens, the cost of which will be subsidized to the extent of 70 percent by the State Budget. In the first call in November 2022, 4 thousand families applied. The main challenges for energy from the sun today are the transmission capacities, the improvement of the network and of course, the biggest challenge is the price of the energy exchange, which is a new market in our country. These challenges are being faced well by the government today and investors, foreign and Albanian, are optimistic.in the reservoir of the Vau de Deja hydropower plant. Solar panels are being used not only for the production of energy at the country level, but also to directly help the citizens. In December 2023, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy reopened applications for the second package of 2,000 solar panels for water heating for citizens, the cost of which will be subsidized to the extent of 70 percent by the State Budget. In the first call in November 2022, 4 thousand families applied. The main challenges for energy from the sun today are the transmission capacities, the improvement of the network and of course, the biggest challenge is the price of the energy exchange, which is a new market in our country. These challenges are being faced well by the government today and investors, foreign and Albanian, are optimistic.