Agri-businesses accelerate Kosovo’s growing solar sector

Speeches Shim

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Bejtullah Kurti, a gherkin (cucumber) farmer in Mitrovica, explains that gherkins need a large amount of water to maintain production.

Kosovo’s solar energy sector has been growing since 2013, despite the many challenges it faces as a new industry.  A real boost for the sector came in 2014, when the Ministry of Agriculture introduced renewable energy measures within the agricultural grant scheme.  A recent assessment on Kosovo’s solar investment potential, funded by USAID, notes that currently there are more than 1,000 solar energy projects installed in the agricultural sector throughout the country, operating with a total installed capacity of about 3,690 kilowatts.  Most of these projects are disconnected from the grid with farmers generating energy themselves for their agribusiness needs. 

Farmers across Kosovo are using solar energy for irrigation, lighting, cooling, and the storage of agricultural products.  Bejtullah Kurti, a gherkin (cucumber) farmer in Mitrovica, explains that gherkins need a large amount of water to maintain production.  In 2015, he acquired an irrigation system that included a pump and four solar panels with an installed capacity of one kilowatt.  With the pump’s introduction, he managed to make his products more competitive on the market by dropping the price because he didn’t spend money on fuel or electricity.

In addition to the more than a thousand farms that have installed photovoltaic panels, dozens of food-processing companies are also generating solar energy for self-consumption.  As the energy needs of Frutomania, a fruit juice company based in Gjilan, have grown, they have continued to install more solar panels.  As noted in the recently released USAID report, the average installed capacity of solar photovoltaic panels for agricultural grants is between 1 and 5 kilowatts per project and between 6-12 kilowatts for agro-processing facilities.  Currently, Frutomania has about 75 kilowatts of installed capacity, and with this, they are able to cover about 20 percent of their energy needs.  

As Kosovo moves to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions, the growing solar energy sector is playing an increasingly significant role in moving Kosovo away from its dependence on fossil fuels.  Kosovo agri-businesses are not only helping to power economic growth, but are also helping to tackle climate change.

Last updated: September 13, 2021

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