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Albania uses EITI to consider energy challenges

16 February 2022

The EITI Board concluded that Albania achieved a moderate overall score in EITI implementation. The country is using open data and disclosures to inform debate and policy on issues of public interest, including revenue management and energy transition.

Albania last year celebrated 10 years of being an EITI member, taking stock of progress in multi-stakeholder oversight, data disclosures as well as outcomes and impact of EITI implementation.

On 16 February 2022, the EITI Board agreed that Albania achieved a moderate overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard (82 points), with a high score on outcomes and impact (87 points), a moderate score on transparency (77 points) and a moderate score on stakeholder engagement (83 points).

These results reflect the high-level commitment and dedication of key office holders, staff and multi-stakeholder group members to harness the EITI platform fully to advance reforms, inform public debate and improve access to information on the mining and petroleum sector," Helen Clark, EITI Board Chair said. “The Board commends EITI Albania for placing emphasis on issues relevant to the energy transition, including reporting on the hydropower sector, and for ensuring that EITI objectives are aligned with national priorities for the extractive industries.”

Progress on open data

EITI Albania recently developed online resources to enhance the availability of open data on the hydrocarbon, mining and hydropower sectors, and has begun to restructure its reporting process to build on routine disclosures by government and corporate entities.  The open data and mining cadastre portals provide a holistic and accessible overview of extractive activities, including data on production, exports, licenses and the economic contribution of the sectors.

EITI Albania has the potential to deliver greater impact by drawing on existing government and company reporting systems and improving transparency in project-level government revenues, contracts and beneficial ownership. Cross-referencing and building on existing systems could allow EITI Albania to free up resources for other activities, such as analysing data to support policy-making and debate.

Using data to influence reforms

EITI Albania links its EITI objectives to national priorities, such as planned reforms aimed at improving natural resource management and the government’s anti-corruption agenda. It has also expanded its engagement with stakeholders to promote greater use of EITI disclosures. A joint project with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on royalty income reached local government authorities in communities affected by extractive industries. Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, EITI Albania used data to stimulate debate on how extractive revenues are allocated to subnational governments and the ability of these transfers to fund public services in extractive regions.

A changing energy landscape

EITI reporting in Albania can help monitor the evolving energy security landscape in Europe. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), a major project which commenced operations in December 2020, delivers gas from the Caspian region to Italy via Albania, thereby connecting Albania to Europe’s energy market.

TAP provides opportunities for EITI Albania to expand coverage of data collection on gas transportation, including new revenues that it generates for the state. EITI Albania could investigate reports by Albania’s state-owned gas transportation company, Albgaz, and the disclosures on the TAP Electronic Data Platform. These sources will become increasingly relevant as gas transportation through TAP generates transit revenues for Albania’s government.   

Shaping the energy transition

Albania has used the EITI platform to shed light on its hydropower sector, which ranks as the second most important energy source after petroleum and is the focus of government efforts to transition to low-carbon electricity generation. EITI reporting has identified significant power losses in the distribution system, which Albanian authorities are working to address.

Stakeholders consulted during Validation called for the EITI to develop this area of work to cover other renewable energy technologies, tracking national efforts to expand clean energy sources to wind and solar. Future EITI reporting could align with these developments and national priorities to take a broader view of the energy transition in Albania.

 

Photo: Koman dam, Albania. Photo by goran_safarek on Shutterstock.

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