Albania has modest oil reserves (33 Mt) but sizeable lignite reserves (522 Mt), despite the material's high (over 3%) sulfur concentration. It has a substantial renewable energy potential, with estimates for hydropower of more than 4.5 GW, solar power of up to 2.3 GW, and wind power of 7.4 GW.
Oil, Gas and Coal
Oil is the largest energy source to supply Albania, followed by electrical energy. The oil production has tripled between 2004 and 2014. Most of this production is exported. The natural gas and coal production are marginal. Coal is produced from 8 mines (Memaliaj, Mborje-Drenove, Gore, Verdove, Alarup, Krabe, Mushqeta and Priske) and barely imported.
Modernization is required for the two refineries, which are located in Ballshi (17 800 bbl/d) and Fier (8 500 bbl/d) and only operate at about 20% of their capacity (0.25 Mt produced in 2019). Due to a reduction in crude oil supplies, the Ballshi refinery stopped running in 2017 and January 2019. As a result, Albania's primary source of oil product supply is imported (1.1 Mt in 2019). 2011 saw the opening of the 100 000 t/year Porto Romano biodiesel refinery. Because Albania lacks a regulatory framework for biofuels, the whole production of the refinery is sold to the EU market.
The three biggest hydropower stations on the Drin River—Koman (600 MW), Fierz (500 MW), and Vau I Dejes—provide 96% of the 2.3 GW's hydroelectric capacity (250 MW). In addition to Statkraft's 256 MW Devoll project, which was commissioned between 2016 (73 MW) and 2020 (184 MW Moglic phase), the hydroelectric capacity has increased by 48% since 2010 (+702 MW). Albania has two inactive oil-fired power plants: 98 MW Vlora and 159 MW Fier (mothballed before commissioning in 2012). The goal of the government is to revitalize and gasify Vlora. It announced a concession tender for the power plant in January 2019 but canceled it at the beginning of 2020 because none of the accepted offers fit the criteria.
Since hydropower relies entirely on water levels, power generation has fluctuated between 4 and 8.6 TWh since 2010, reaching 8.6 TWh in 2018 before falling by 39% to 5.2 TWh in 2019 and 5.3 TWh in 2020. (ERE, 2021). Preliminary figures show that production increased to 9 TWh in 2021, up 50%.
Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania are all connected. Greece and Albania have been secured for over 20 years (400 kV Zemblak Kardia line and 150 kV Bistrice-1-Myrtos line). It connects to Kosovo via the 220 kV Fierza-Prizren line (1991), the 400 kV Tirana Pritina line (2016, inoperable), and Montenegro via the 400 kV Tirana-Podgorica line, and the 220 kV Koplik-Podgorica line.
Depending on the availability of hydropower, the patterns for power imports and exports are variable. Imports peaked at 3 TWh in 2014 after fluctuating between 0.4 TWh in 2005. (2.25 TWh in 2021). Only four times in the past ten years has Albania been a net exporter, with a peak of 0.9 TWh in 2018. (0.5 TWh in 2021). 3 423 km of transmission lines make up the system, including 1 250 km of 220 kV lines, 34 km of 150 kV lines, and 1 693 km of 110 kV lines. Of these, 445 km are 400 kV lines (2019). OST finished Albania's South Grid (110 kV) in 2016.
T&D losses have been declining quickly since 2012, but they are still relatively high (24% in 2018 and 22% in 2021), driving up additional costs for KESh. Since 2017, most consumers have paid their bills, compared to 70% in 2010 (almost 95.8% in 2021).
Last update: 12 2022