Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC
ACERC is a think tank centre with focus in Albania energy market and its integration on 8th Regional Area & EU IEM. The ACERC mission aim to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.
ACERC main activities profiles briefly consists in the release reports, articles and periodicals. In cooperation also with collaborates the offering of the activities that support capacity building of market actors, such as national and regional seminars, trainings and conferences. Initiatives completed by advocating in the energy sector promoting a forum called in Albanian School of Regulation.
Argentinean economist is to become an adviser to the new governor of Albania’s
Central Bank, Gent Sejko, the Prime Minister has announced.
Likmeta BIRN Tirana
Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the appointment of the Argentinean economist on Thursday on Twitter.
“The famous economist Mario Blejer, who served as director of monetary policy in the Bank of England, will be an advisor to our governor,” Rama wrote.
The 67-years-old economist has held several senior positions both in Argentina and abroad. From January to June 2002, he headed Argentina’s Central Bank.
Apart from the advisory role with the Bank of England, he also served as an advisor for the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and taught economics at New York University and George Washington University.
Before Gent Sejko was appointed governor in mid-February, Blejer had been billed as a possible Central Bank chief, after Prime Minister Rama expressed a desire to appoint a foreigner.
However, disagreements between Rama and President Bujar Nishani led to the appointment of Sejko as a compromise candidate.
Former governor Ardian Fullani was shown the door for negligence after an employee stole millions of dollars from the vaults.
Europe intends to find a technical and legal basis for the Turkmen gas supply via Azerbaijan, the European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said, Financial Times reported.
“Russia’s position is a problem in the gas supply from Turkmenistan,” he said. “It insists that the gas can be supplied from the Caspian coastal region only with the consent of the neighboring countries. In particular, it concerns the prospects of laying the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.”
Šefčovič said that the EU will make every political effort to support the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline to construct it by late 2019.
“Brussels has already outlined the pipeline as a "project of common interest",” he said. “This allows bypassing the restrictions on competition in the EU.”
“It is very important for investors to have political confidence that this project will be the EU main priority,” he said. “Brussels is ready to offer any political support. This will also be done within the EU. For example, this refers to the TAP site in Italy, where the local authorities have the environmental claims concerning this gas pipeline.”
Šefčovič said that the EU drew conclusions from the Nabucco project, which failed due to a lack of Europe’s political support.
The Southern Gas Corridor will allow Europe to diversify its hydrocarbon supply sources and strengthen energy security and also will allow Azerbaijan to obtain a new market in Europe. Azerbaijani gas is designed to open the Southern Gas Corridor.
On December 17, 2013, a final investment decision was made on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters). Around six billion cubic meters will be annually supplied to Turkey.
The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field’s proven reserve is 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million metric tons of condensate.
As part of the second stage of the field development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.
Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the SEECP
takes place in Tirana
on: 24 February 2015
In the framework of the Albanian Chairmanship of the South East European
Cooperation Process (SEECP), Minister Bushati chaired the informal meeting of
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of participating countries in this initiative.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 13 participating SEECP
countries, as well as representatives of the European Union, Latvian Presidency
of the EU, European Commission, Austria and the Regional Cooperation Council
(RCC), the latter as special guests for the Albanian Chairmanship.
The meeting was welcomed by Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of the Republic of
Albania, whom emphasized the constructive role of the Albanian Chairmanship in
this initiative. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of this meeting
in the regional integration processes, in the European and Euro-Atlantic
integration and conveyed messages of cooperation for the region.
The Foreign Ministers discussed recent developments, the political
situation, the level of regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, as
essential elements to the development of Eastern Europe.
At the initiative of the Albanian Chairmanship, during this meeting a joint
statement against terrorism was approved, giving the message of unity and
seriousness in tackling common challenges through joint actions.
Minister Bushati reiterated the priorities of our Chairmanship, such as
strengthening of SEECP regional role, promoting and encouraging dialogue
between participating countries and the consolidation of important sectors through
this initiative orienting its aims towards tangible results for the public.
Minister Bushati presented the activities undertaken so far under the
Albanian Chairmanship and briefed his counterparts on the activities forecast
during the first half of the year.
Ministers present at this meeting gave strong messages of support to the
process EU and Euro-Atlantic integration. They stressed that EU integration has
had a positive impact on consolidating and maintaining peace and stability in
the region and in enhancing economic development. The integration process based
on merit should not be stopped, despite "enlargement fatigue" and
southeastern European countries should be encouraged in this regard.
Minister Bushati pointed out that the Albanian Chairmanship of the most
important political forum in the region is a significant political and
diplomatic commitment for Albania, to further promote and confirm the role of
our country's policy in the region and beyond.
During our Chairmanship we will continue to develop a range of activities
at expert level in Tirana, in cooperation with civil society and the academic
world, and also, three ministerial meetings are due to take place in the fields
of energy, agriculture and tourism, in accordance with the priorities of our
Statement of Minister
Bushati at the joint press conference of the SEECP troika
I am happy to be here together with my counterparts from Bulgaria and
Romania as representatives of the troika of the participating countries to the
South-East European Cooperation Process. As Chairman-in-Office of the SEECP I
held fruitful discussions with representatives of participating countries to
this important regional initiative of the countries of Southeast Europe.
Allow me to express my satisfaction with the level of participation and
representation in this meeting, which is also due to the work carried out by
the Romanian Chairmanship and the agreement reached during this Chairmanship. I
am glad we had such a comprehensive representation of all the key actors of
Southeast Europe. The Latvian EU Presidency, The European Commission and
Austria – the country that will host the Conference in the framework the Berlin
Process next August – were also present during this informal meeting. Apart
from the challenges our region faces currently, we discussed common ways to
face them and, for the first time in the history of SEECP Foreign Ministers
Meetings, we adopted a Joint Declaration on Terrorism, which was drafted in the
same spirit as EU’s clear stance in this regard, taking into account that the
challenges our region faces today – terrorism and the so called foreign
fighters – also challenge the EU and the European security architecture.
Given that some of the SEECP participating countries are members of the EU
while some others aspire to join it, we had the opportunity to exchange views
regarding the advancement of reforms in our countries and to get acquainted
with projects that the EU is drafting in order to assure better interconnectivity,
with a view of transforming Southeast Europe in a true region when it comes to
infrastructural corridors and drafting of an economic plan to face challenges
brought by the EU accession process. Considerable focus was given to the
role of our region with regards to the challenges Europe is facing in the East
and in particular to the contribution of non EU countries, who are committed to
align their foreign policy stances with those of the EU. We also talked about
the importance of synchronizing our stances with regards to the developments in
the Middle East and all the challenges brought by the situation in that part of
the world, mainly concerning terrorism and foreign fighters.
This meeting was a great opportunity for all of us to discuss and find a
common ground on issues that are important to our continent.
The European Commission’s much-awaited proposal for an energy union will be released on Wednesday and could set out a new and more holistic framework for the EU’s energy policy.
Energy security is expected to feature high on the list of priorities – particularly given the current geopolitical backdrop. The EU relies on imports for 66% of its gas, and Brussels wants to reduce the 28 member states’ dependence on foreign exporters – especially Russia. Energy efficiency and demand moderation have been highlighted as key methods to reduce imports.
A leaked draft of a paper concerning the energy union says the commission will review all legislation related to energy efficiency this year and next.
“In 2015 and 2016, the commission will review all relevant energy efficiency legislation and will propose revisions, where needed, to underpin the 2030 target,” according to the leaked draft.
Energy consumption has been reduced considerably across EU nations – it now stands at early 1990 levels – but the recent drop in oil prices poses a threat to this trend.
In October last year, heads of state in the European Council agreed on an indicative 27% energy efficiency target for 2030. However, the target is not legally binding and falls short of the 30% binding target proposed by commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the 40% target proposed by the European Parliament.
Analysts at Société Générale said in a report dated 17 February the EU would likely pursue energy efficiency measures instead of using gas as a transition fuel in the decarbonisation of the energy sector.
“The news flow – unrest in Middle East, sanctions on Russia, war in Ukraine, possible issues in Venezuela because of too-low oil prices – should push policymakers to reduce energy consumption by setting new targets. This, we think, is one of the aims the new commission could come [forward] with,” Thierry Bros, a senior energy analyst at the bank, told Interfax.
EU energy sector key dates
24 February: European Parliament’s environment committee to vote on EU ETS reform
25 February: European Commission to release energy union paper.
The energy union paper will also include a proposal to strengthen the EU’s Security of Gas Supply Regulation 994/2010, which obliges member states to ensure they can supply gas – at least to household users – for a minimum of 30 days. However, it does not set out minimum stock levels, and the energy industry remains divided on whether storage obligations are necessary for gas.
“Talk about a new regulatory framework for gas storages raises concerns,” said industry association Eurogas in a position paper published earlier this year. “Eurogas has never supported strategic storage at an EU policy level as this could be cost-inefficient and cause problems for the commercial storage market,” it added.
No less important is Tuesday’s vote in the parliament on whether to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). A number of gas-fired power plants in Europe have been mothballed partly because low carbon prices under the ETS encourage switching from gas to coal. On 24 February, the parliament’s environment committee will vote on a proposal for a market stability reserve (MSR) where 12% of the surplus allowances – around 2.1 billion – would be taken out of the market and placed in a reserve each year.
The energy industry is lobbying hard for early implementation of an MSR – pushing for 2017 or 2018, instead of the commission’s proposed date of 2021.
However, the MSR proposal needs backing from both the parliament and the member states in the council to be passed into law. Analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a report dated 19 February that a vote in favour of the MSR on Wednesday could lift carbon prices by €5 per ton ($5.68/t) in the short-term.
However, a rejection of the MSR proposal could see carbon prices drop back towards previous lows of €2-3/t. Carbon prices are currently trading at around €7.50/t.
Deutsche Bank analyst Martin Brough told Interfax it looked likely MEPs would vote in favour of early MSR implementation this week, but cautioned it would take time for prices to reach fuel switching levels of above €30/t.
“At the moment we think carbon prices would have to rise to about €34/t to get much coal to gas switching in continental Europe. It’s very hard to see carbon reform driving these kind of prices within a decade though,” Brough said.
Solar Eclipse: An Unprecedented Test for Europe’s Electricity System
transmission system operators (TSOs) have been preparing for the 20 March solar
eclipse for several months. Due to the amount of solar generation involved, it
was necessary to evaluate and mitigate the risk, with the aim of bringing the
risk of an incident back to the security level equal to that of a standard
operating day. The ENTSO-E Solar Eclipse Impact Analysis outlines how TSOs are
cooperating to maintain security of supply on the eclipse day, and in this
clear morning sky on 20 March 2015, some 35,000 MW of solar energy, which is
the equivalent of nearly 80 medium size conventional generation units, will
gradually fade from Europe’s electrical system before being gradually
re-injected: all in the space of two hours while Europeans and their offices
begin a normal working week day.
this event on the world’s largest interconnected grid is an unprecedented
challenge for European TSOs. Solar eclipses have happened before but with the
increase of installed photovoltaic energy generation, the risk of an incident
could be serious without appropriate countermeasures, as was pointed out in
ENTSO-E’s Winter Outlook Report of last December.
conclusion of ENTSO-E’s Solar Eclipse Impact Analysis is that operational
coordination among European TSOs will be crucial. After thorough operational
planning work, TSOs will put in place continuous on line coordination between
control rooms across Europe ahead of, and during the eclipse to better
coordinate the scheduled remedial actions.
While it is
clear from the report that TSOs are taking all necessary measures to mitigate
the risks, the solar eclipse is a perfect illustration that maintaining system
security with more and more volatile and dispersed generation is becoming
reports, policy and position papers, ENTSO-E has pointed out that in order to
guarantee security of supply, a series of policy and regulatory changes are
needed to take into account the evolution of Europe’s energy mix. All of
ENTSO-E’s work products are designed to ensure that the transition towards a
decarbonised economy is as smooth, efficient, secure and cost effective as
Scenario Outlook & Adequacy Forecast (SO&AF), Seasonal Outlooks,
Ten-Year Network Development Plan, etc., provide objective assessments on the
impacts, opportunities and risks of the different policy options.
with the Solar Eclipse Impact Analysis, ENTSO-E has also published a list of
frequently asked questions, and will continue to communicate on the eclipse as the
date approaches and beyond.
European integration on the top of the Albanian Government’s agenda
Published on : 19 February 2015
Speech of the EC President, Donald Tusk, at the joint conference with Prime Minister Rama:
It was a pleasure to receive the Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama in a meeting today.
Let me start by saying that enlargement remains a strong priority for the European Union and personally for me.
However, as I just conveyed to Prime Minister Rama, every step ahead to this road will bring responsibilities and more hard work. But we both know that it’s much better like this.
Albania is now a candidate for a membership of the Union, so we hope and except that it will intensify its reform efforts. The focus should be on the priorities identified last December. This will establish a solid track record and allow for the next steps on the path to accession to be taken. A lot has already been achieved, including the fight against drug-related crimes.
However, what is looked for and what is needed is implementation across all areas. In our meeting I praised Prime Minister Rama for the positive role that his country is playing in the Western Balkans. Its commitment to a zero problem policy with neighboring countries is both constructive and exemplary.
Leading the Southeast European Cooperation Process is another opportunity for Albania to show itself as the archetype of the good neighbor. I also use this opportunity to comment Albania for its 100% alignment with the EU policy in foreign affairs. This is of real significance for the enlargement process, and even more now given the situation in Ukraine and other common challenges.
Finally we talked about the need for increased and improved domestic dialogue in Albania. Confrontational politics, boycotts, and the “winner takes it all” attitude will not help Albanian citizens. To become a modern mainstream European country Albania needs to build a culture of compromise-based political dialogue. This creates the optimal framework for delivering tough but much needed political reforms. It is of particular importance also in view of the upcoming local elections. Albania should be as a constructive and as reasonable in its own political life as it is in the region.
Thank you very much!
Speech of Prime Minister Edi Rama at the press conference after meeting with EC President, Donald Tusk:
Thank you Mr. President for your very warm welcome today!
Let me say that it was a very good day for us and we will go back to Albania with lot of energy for the encouragement we had from the morning meeting with the President of the Commission, and from this meeting with you. We are particularly grateful for the constant support that President Tusk shows to the Albania’s EU accession process. We had the opportunity to discuss, of course, the EU’s enlargement agenda as both a geostrategic and a political project, a project that is at the very core of the Albania’s foreign and domestic policy.
We also exchanged views on recent developments in the EU’s neighborhood, both in the east, Ukraine, and in the south, Middle East and in the south Mediterranean.
Also in the framework of the Albania’s chairmanship of the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process, I informed President Tusk on the recent security, energy and cooperation trends in our region. There is a risk that the Western Balkans might stagnate in terms of democratic standards and also n terms of security in challenging new environment upon which the countries of the region must make considerable efforts to face international threats, and this risk is terrorism. In other terms, there is a growing risk that the Western Balkans will remain at the periphery of the periphery of Europe, especially n terms of economic gaps, and this is something that we absolutely want to avoid. The Western Balkans has the potential to be a success story for the EU. The success of Europe’s democratization and stabilization agenda depends on the credibility and success of the enlargement policy in the Balkans.
In the new security situation, stability in the Balkans grows even more important. The European perspective is crucial in keeping our region on the path of peace and cooperation. Albanian has been consistent and will be consistent in aligning its position with the EU. This demonstrates that we share the values on which European security is built and we want to represent them in every situation, be it a normal or an especially difficult situation. Part of our discussion today focused on the way the EU can further extend efforts to help the Western Balkans become a true region in economic terms.
In this context we believe that the Berlin process is a chance to reinvigorate the accession process and help it to remain a tool that transforms the region into a vibrant and prosperous democratic space. To keep the momentum created by the Berlin Conference, we’re focused on concretely following and implementing the decisions of the Berlin Conference through jointly identified region projects that promote growth, competiveness and employment in our area. We want to make sure that the upcoming conference on the Western Balkans in Vienna in August becomes a milestone for the definition of regional projects.
By concluding, I want to thank again the President for the precious time he reserved for us and to underline that today Europe needs the Balkans as much as the Balkans needs Europe.
Thank you, Mr. President!
Prime Minister Rama had a meeting with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
Albania's relationship with the EU and the enlargement process were the focus of this meeting. President Tusk said that the EU remains committed to its enlargement policy.
He praised the achievements of Albania and encouraged efforts to fulfill the priorities of integration and reforms in Albania.
President Tusk praised Albania's role in the region and its position with respect to EU’s foreign policy.
Prime Minister Rama stressed that European integration is on the top of the Albanian government’s agenda.
The Prime Minister assured that Albania is consistent in aligning its position with the EU.
A committee headed by the economy minister will review seven bids for on-shore oil and gas tenders in eastern Croatia in the coming two months.
Sven Milekic, BIRN, Zagreb
Croatia's Economy Minister, Ivan Vrdoljak, on Wednesday said an independent committee would review bids for on-shore oil and gas tenders in eastern Croatia.
The government opened the offer for gas and oil exploration and exploitation in the continental region of Slavonia in eastern Croatia along the Sava and Drava rivers last July.
This tender is the second of its kind. In January, Croatia chose bidders for an off-shore tender to explore oil and gas along the Adriatic coast.
“We are very pleased with the received offers. As expected, these are companies with extensive experience using the latest technology and meeting the most demanding environmental standards,” Vrdoljak said.
He did not mention the names of companies owing to the conditions of the tender, but noted that seven companies had applied in all.
Six exploration and exploitation fields, ranging from 2,100 to 2,600 square kilometres in size, are on offer in this first tender.
Vrdoljak said the tender was designed to attract foreign investment, boost the economy, increase employment and secure the country's energy supply. Croatia's stated aim is to become the “energy hub in the region”.
Barbara Doric, director of the hydrocarbon agency, CHA, which is managing the tender process, said it would take the expert committee two months to review the bids and choose the winning six.
Contracts between the government and chosen companies will be signed by July 18.
Slavonia has long been seen as Croatia's richest region in terms of oil potential, but it has not been fully exploited owing to the wars of the 1990s and for other reasons.
The government estimates that around 5.2 billion euro of investments will need to be made in the first five-year exploration period in the last two years of which exploitation is also allowed.
EU & WBs / Albania Energy Market Updates is part of the Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC. The project is going under the direction of the Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD, that is also committed as the Executive Director and Legal Energy Market Advisor at the ACERC.
Main areas of the expertise of director covers the academic didactics, the applied research and legal strategic expertise in the EU energy law and policy for industry, government, international institution and interest groups with particular focus on the market design and related policy issues, concerning the promotion of a sustainable integration of energy market in the WBs.