Put your money where your mouth is. When it comes to investing, it's always interesting to find out who's willing to back up their words with cold, hard cash and who bails out. Business is about revenues; positive cash flows; profits. All else is, let’s be honest, secondary.
If you run an engine and it consumes diesel/oil, every hour costs money. If you use a wind turbine for the same, most hours (if not all) cost nothing. It is fairly easy to see the business case in this straight illustration.
What if in the two scenarios we were producing sugar? In case number one, the ton of sugar from a plant running on diesel will cost more than that produced on wind (renewable energy).
Simply put, if our electricity comes predominantly from hydropower, like in Albania the electricity tariffs will be higher than say from solar.
But talk is cheap, so let’s get to the grassroots and talk numbers.
If you are reading this article and live in Albania, we would say to you that this year if Albania was 100% on renewable energy you would save off some thousand dollars from your utility bill.
According to a study held by Marc Jacobson, a Stanford University professor, the annual cost of saving for every Albanian per year would be 2,723 US dollars. Yes by the end of the year you would have that much money more on your pocket.
Instead of burning fossil fuels, using renewable electricity for everything and improving energy efficiency ultimately reduces energy demand by 42 %. The country could produce 43 % of its energy by 2050 by using only solar plant. Albania, in a year period time has approximately 2400 hours of sun and an average of 240 – 300 sunny days.
Solar panels have very low maintenance and being considered by the experts as one of the most durable products, enables the return of the investment. Which means your wallet will be fuller by months end as the sun is for free and the value of your house if you have a solar panel will increase in value, as new buyers will be able to save energy. The steady uptick to solar panel purchases is due also to the new policies the Albanian government is undertaking also as part of its EU agenda, in regards renewable energy and solar panels in particular.
Only in 2014, the import of solar panels, according to INSTAT, amounted to 379 million Albanian Lek, with an increase of 129% compared to a year ago. Although their use remains low in relation to the great potential it holds, given the high number of sunny days, interest is still growing.
But another great source to do business and take advantage of is wind. Since Albania is close to the sea and it is a mountainous country, it is expected that at some locations, wind turbines have a good payback time.
Individual wind turbines take up little room but must be spaced far apart, so wind farms need a lot of land. Some of that land, however, could be used for farming and other purposes.
According to the data made public by the Albania Energy Association, it is foreseen that until 2025, 4% of the total amount of electric energy produced in Albania (around 400 GWh/year) to be produced from wind. A considerable number of areas with high wind energy potential are identified in the Seaside Lowland, looking for 30 GWh/year or 0.7% of the actual national electric energy production.
The average annual wind speed in these areas is 4-6 m/s (height 10 m), and the annual energy density is 100-250 W/m2. This potential is considered as low, but it can be improved, by using the height of 50 meters, where the speed is 6-8 m/s, and energy density is 250-600 W/m2.
Making the switch to renewable energy sources could provide the much-needed kick to the economy. Albania has great potential for renewables, which have taken the world by storm and could prove to be good business and boost the economy of the country. And in the end by doing to the earth a world of good./Agroweb.org/