Albania thanks to its geographical position and natural resources has a high development potential to exploit country renewable resources. Actually only hydropower makes a significant contribution to the electricity consumption in the country, unless the fact that significant potentials for renewable resources in the form of biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar are available. In this paper the results of a study about the potentials of the country to use renewable energy sources are presented.
Policy making and guidelines
The actual energy system in Albania is currently based completely at the hydro energy. There are enormous doubts on its sustainability, as there are limited generation capacities towards the growing demand. On the other side it is limited with a considerable number of technical and non technical problems related to the network loss and leading to a multi-year energy crisis. One of the main challenges of the Albanian energy sector is the diversification of the energy sources and the fulfillment of the needs by own country resources, decreasing the import dependence. The country has significant potentials for renewable resources in the form of biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar. The utilization of renewable resources is an important factor for diversification of the energy sources and reduction of emissions of CO2 gasses.
In this paper we shall present the results of a study about the potentials of the country to use renewable energy sources. Such potentials has been identified, discussed and evaluated.
A. Biomass energy The forestry zones cover around 36% of the total surface of the country. The total reserves of fuel wood in Albania are estimated about 6 Mtoe. The energy potential from agricultural residues was calculated at approximately around 43,000 GW and the energy potential from animal residue's as well as for agricultural residue potations is calculated at approximately 70 toe/year with a trend to be increased in the future. The potential of urban wastes from the main Albanian cities was calculated as approximately 405615 Toe with a trend to be increased in the future. The biomass from the so-called energetic plants is not applied yet. Albania is not producing bio fuels.
B. Hydropower Albania, with it surface of 28748km2, has a hydrographical distribution of 44000km2, or 57% more than state territory. The country has the potential to produce 16 to 18 TWh of hydo energy. So far, has been exploited one third of the potential.
C. Geothermal resources Albania is actually in the feasibility phase of assessing the geothermic energy use potentials.
D. Wind energy The most promising sites are located along the Adriatic coast, as well as the hills and ridges running in the north to south direction along the coast. It is foreseen that 4% of the total amount of electric energy produced in country (around 400 GWh/year) until 2025 to be produced from wind. A considerable number of areas with high wind energy potentials are identified in the seaside lowland with capacity of near 30 GWh/year or 0.7% of the actual national electric energy production.
E. Solar energy Albania receives a level of solar radiation of more than 1 500 kWh/m2/yr, within a range of 1 185 to 1 690 kWh/m2/yr. The average of daily solar radiation is near 4.1kWh/m2 changing from a minimum of 3.2kWh/m2 in the Northeast up to a maximum of 4.6kWh/m2 in the South-Western. If Albania would develop the solar panel system, the potential production of warm water shall be equivalent to the quantity of energy of 1000 GWhtermik or 125 MWthermal of the installed power.
CONCLUSIONS The main characteristics of the renewable energy systems in Albania could be summarized as follows: a.- Almost 97% of the electricity produced in the country is generated by hydropower plants. b.- As a recourse for the households especially in the rural areas and partly in the urban areas for ambient heating and for domestic hot water, mainly it is used the fuel wood. c.- The use of solar energy is a new tendency which is developing very slowly in the last years, mostly by private people who construct new houses. Anyway the share of use of solar energy collectors mainly for water heating in the national energy balance is very small. d.- Lack of production of RE from the agriculture sector. e.- Lack of using the wind energy f.- Lack of using the PV energy g.- Lack of using the geothermal energy