EBRD, EU and Austria boost green investments in Kosovo

By Volker Ahlemeyer

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  • €2 million loan to KRK to be on-lent for investments in energy efficiency
  • Funds will contribute to making residential buildings greener in Kosovo
  • Project co-financed by the EU and bilateral donors through the WBIF, as well as Austria

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to boost much-needed energy efficiency investments in Kosovo through a €2 million loan to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves (KRK), a microfinance institution focusing on rural areas of the country.

KRK will on-lend the funds to homeowners and service providers to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings. Homeowners, housing collectives, producers, vendors and service providers of green technologies will be able to invest in a wide range of energy efficient solutions, such as insulation, windows, heat pumps and solar panels.

The European Union and bilateral donors provide funds through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) to help beneficiaries identify and verify the best available equipment. This includes incentive payments of up to 20 per cent of the loan value upon successful installation. Furthermore, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance provides additional funds for technical assistance.

The financing is part of the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme for the Western Balkans, which consists of credit lines totalling €135 million to build a greener and more sustainable economy across the region.

Neil Taylor, Head of the EBRD in Kosovo, said: “With KRK and our partners we are making a real difference to everyday life by helping citizens to invest in energy efficient solutions for their homes. Our cooperation will help to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and build a greener economy and future for Kosovo.”

Ambassador Tomáš Szunyog, Head of the EU Office/EU Special Representative in Kosovo stated that: “The EU promotes the Green Deal, while ensuring that investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are more affordable for citizens. A clean and sustainable energy supply is one of the cornerstones of the EU funded assistance”.

Lulzim Sadrija, CEO of KRK, commented: “We are excited to extend our strong partnership with the EBRD, which started back in 2012. The new GEFF funds will support our customers – from low-income individuals in rural areas of Kosovo to micro- and small-sized enterprises, the most vibrant and fast-growing segment of our economy – in making investments in high-performance green technology and solutions.”

This will be KRK’s second engagement under GEFF, having successfully utilised a €2 million credit line signed in 2017. To date, around 1,000 households in the country have benefited from GEFF, reducing CO2 emissions by over 3,100 tonnes per year.

The EBRD has invested €528 million in Kosovo since it began operating there in 2012. The Bank’s strategic priorities in the country are to promote the green economy, support the competitive development of the private sector and foster regional integration.

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