What is the project about?

The initial idea of the project came from the National Energy Strategy and the previous climate change studies such as the Albania’s First National Communication and Technology Needs Assessment, which do promote and recommend Solar Water Heating (SWH) as one of the promising technologies to reduce electricity and fuel wood consumption with a significant contribution towards greenhouse gas emission reduction.

According to the mentioned studies, over 70% of domestic hot water needs of the household and service sector in Albania is supplied by electric boilers, while the energy demand for hot water in Albania is projected to grow from 600 GWh in 2000 to 875 GWh in 2015, in the residential sector alone.

Upon Government of Albania’s request to increase the share of solar thermal energy in the country, UNDP and GEF support solar water heating technology through legal and market based instruments. UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Ministry of Environment is working to reach the target of 75,000 m2 of new installed collector area over the duration of the project, as well as an annual sale of 20,000 m2 with expected continuing growth to reach the set target of 520,000 m2 of total installed SWH capacity by 2020.

This is estimated to correspond to over 300 MW of avoided, new fossil fuel power capacity by using solar instead of electricity for water heating, and estimated cumulative GHG reduction potential of over 800,000 tons of CO2 by the end 2020.  The sustainable growth of the market will be secured by an i) enabling policy framework, ii) increased awareness and advocacy iii) available financing mechanism iv) supply of reliable technology and services and v) replication.

What have been accomplished so far?

  • Promotion of legal and market based approaches to increase use of energy efficient and innovative solar water heating technology has continued: the RES Action Plan is endorsed (January, 2016), the RES Law is revised accordingly, ensuring the accordance with the European Directives and the new Power Sector Law (with the Parliamentary Commissions at last stage of its approval); and the Energy Performance in Buildings law got approved (November, 2016).

Following the endorsement of the Energy Efficiency Law, and later on the one on Energy Performance in Buildings, due to the very fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, quite a heavy work  is undertaken to make operational the established EE Fund to secure sustainability of actions to transform SWH market: the statute and operational manual is drafted that way, the EE Fund to enlarge its scope (to be reflected within the new name of the Fund)  and get qualified as the national authority under the Green Climate Fund.

Work will follow up in 2017 to assist the established Fund with (i) training sessions in project cycle management procedures; (ii) development of an informative package for the public and the applicants; and (iii) to fulfil the application for the EE Fund to get accredited with the GCF as NIE.

  •  Small grants scheme co-founded at municipal level associated with advocacy and capacity-building activities has continued with new cooperation in Durres and Vlora municipalities. The installed cumulative area by the end of June 2016 is 186,472 m2, the annual sale is 21,602 m2 resulting to more than 990,000 tCO2 reduction (indirect CO2 reduction over the lifetime of solar collectors). In terms of evolution (growth) of the penetration rate for SWH attributed to the project, it has gone from 17.9 m2/1000 inhabitants in 2009 to 66.2 m2/1000 inhabitants in 2016; A great number of trainings are delivered to representatives of the SWH supply chain (Arch., Eng., Instructors, students, municipal staffs, etc.).

A new cooperation has started with Tirana Polytechnic University to provide a Design Manual of the SWH systems for the needs of the Scientific Masters’ Programs on Renewable Energy and associated with training courses to students of Energy, Environment, Architecture, and Building engineers. More interventions are expected in public buildings with high consumption of hot water and follow-up the activities with the private sector uptake towards solar energy for water heating. The establishment of the EE Fund and the endorsement of the national Action Plan on RES would become important drivers for the sustainability of pilot projects and SWH market transformation.

Who finances it?

Year Donors Amount contributed  
2009 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 36.000 USD
2010 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 244.975 USD
2011 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 348.247 USD
2012 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 310.437 USD
2013 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 267.439 USD
2014 GEF/ UNDP/ Albanian Government 264.826 USD
2015 UNDP/ Albanian Government 264.826 USD
2016 UNDP/ Albanian Government 185.335 USD
2017 UNDP/ Albanian Government 93.908 USD


Year Total delivery
2009 93.908 USD
2010 242.576 USD
2011 294.391 USD
2012 230.430 USD
2013 233.777 USD
2014 239.903 USD
2015 183.440 USD


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