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Albania: An Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerabilty, Risk and Adaptation

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An Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability, Risk and Adaptation
Climate Change
An Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability,
Risk and Adaptation


The IBRD-financed Climate Change – Energy Vulnerability Assessment in Albania helped the government and other energy sector stakeholders to identify key direct risks to energy supply and demand arising from projected climate change and prioritize actions that could be completed now to support optimal use of water resources and operation of hydropower plants, including the areas that need a more detailed subsequent analysis. This assessment can help to manage climate variability more effectively and build the country’s future resilience to climate change.



Albania’s water resources are a national asset. The River Drin provides about 90% of Albania’s domestic electricity to local industry and households. However, high dependence on hydropower brings challenges: electricity production can vary from almost 6,000 Gigawatt Hour (GWh) to less than half that amount in very dry years. Climate change may likely make matters worse and by 2050, annual average electricity output from Albania’s large hydropower plants could be reduced by about 15% and from small hydropower plants by around 20%.



The Climate Change – Energy Vulnerability Assessment screened the energy sector in Albania to identify and prioritize hazards and vulnerabilities to projected climate scenarios for the period 2030-50. It identified options for adaptation to reduce overall vulnerability and their costs and benefits. A bottom-up consultative process was used to support stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing adaptation options for vulnerable and at-risk energy infrastructure along the entire energy supply-use chain. The project drew upon the approach developed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) for the Australian Greenhouse Office – Climate Change Impacts and Risk Management: A Guide for Government and Business – similar work conducted worldwide (e.g. United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme, UKCIP), and work in Albania in support of National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).



The project identified a number of actions that Albania can take to build its resilience to climate change:

  • Improve the way that institutions monitor, forecast, and disseminate information on meteorological and hydro-meteorological conditions. Albania could develop (in-country) or obtain (from elsewhere) weather and climate forecasts appropriate for energy sector planning.This information could support energy sector stakeholders to undertake joint climate risk assessments across shared water resources and regional energy networks.
  • Improve energy efficiency by encouraging and helping end users to manage their demand for power. The large technical and commercial losses in the distribution system could be reduced and demand-side management could be improved through, for example, the improved bill collection and establishment of cost-recovery tariffs (amending energy subsidies that are distorting market signals.

  • Diversify energy supply, domestically and through trade and through developing a more diverse portfolio of domestic generation assets, ensuring that these are designed to be resilient to climate change. The active scenario laid out in the draft National Energy Strategy (NES) aims to improve energy security by encouraging development of renewable energy generation assets (solar, small hydropower plants, wind, and biomass) and thermal power plants.

  • Ensure that the management and development of water resources integrates all sectors—energy, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, and cross-border concerns—along with environmental and social concerns.
  • Build climate resilience into all new investments. With major investments in upgrading, new energy assets on the horizon, and the privatization of assets, the earlier the climate risks are considered, the greater the opportunities to identify and implement solutions that make the energy system more robust and resilient for coming decades.


In fiscal years 2009-10, $387.4 thousand was provided by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (TFESSD). Approximately half of the co-funding was devoted to the Albania assessment.

In Albania, the World Bank team worked with the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection, Institute of Energy, Water and Environment, Albanian Power Cooperation, Transmission System Operator, the Albanian Energy Regulatory Authority, the National Agency of Natural Resources, the Association of Small Hydropower Developers, the Tirana Polytechnic University, and the Faculty of Geology and Mining.


Beneficiaries The Climate Change-Energy Vulnerability Assessment was conducted with a broad base of stakeholders engaged in energy and climate change issues including representatives from government ministries and agencies, the private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations, and other donors and international financing institutions.

We have to think long term and address the energy as a contributor to climate change

—Suzana Goxholli, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister

We’re trying to better manage and optimize energy production, to keep reservoir levels optimal and use water resources more efficiently

—Muharem Stojku, General Director
for the Albanian Power Company

Toward the Future

The performance of the education sector would be a key determinant of Albanian’s future competitiveness and economic growth. Given Albanian’s aspirations to maintain growth, narrow regional disparities, and join the EU, the main challenge in the education sector is to develop a system and institutions which prepare school graduates to function effectively in labour markets. The World Bank has given $36.6 million through three projects to improve the education system in Albania.


For more information, please visit the Projects website.

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