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SEE has vast renewable energy potential - IRENA

SEE has vast renewable energy potential - IRENA Wind turbines. Author: Jaime Rey.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 16 (SeeNews) - The region of Southeast Europe (SEE) region possesses vast technical renewable energy potential of some 740 gigawatts (GW), according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The region’s wind energy potential amounts to 532 GW while photovoltaic potential is 120 GW, both being largely untapped, IRENA said in a cost competitive renewable energy report published on Friday.

Th study was undertaken by the International Renewable Energy Agency in collaboration with regional experts. According to the report, the SEE region comprises Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

"Much of the region’s vast untapped renewable energy potential could already be cost-competitive for power generation today. By 2030, almost all of it will be exploitable in a cost-effective manner," Adnan Amin, director-general of IRENA, said in the report. "In particular, SEE policy makers need to look more closely at wind and solar photovoltaic power as over 98 GW of wind energy and 5.2 GW of solar PV could be deployed today in a cost-competitive manner."

Romania has the largest additional cost-competitive solar photovoltaic potential in SEE of up to 16.9 GW. The country also possesses enormous technical wind potential of 84 GW, out of which up to 50 GW could constitute an interesting investment option in the low cost of capital scenario.

The region’s power sector comprises over 118 GW of installed capacity, out of which renewables accounted for 36 GW in 2015. Hydropower accounted for 75% of this renewable capacity, according to the report.

"Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine are the only countries in the region that already have significant solar PV and wind energy capacity, totalling some 7.8 GW in 2015," IRENA said.

Cost effective renewable energy potential by country in gigawatts (GW):

  Solar power Wind power Hydropower Biomass
Albania 1.9 1.0 - 2.1 2      -
Bosnia&Herzegovina 1 2.5-5.9         -      -
Bulgaria 6 18 1.6 1
Croatia 1.9-11.8 3.2         -      -
Kosovo      - 0.4         -      -
Montenegro 0.3 1.7 1.3      -
Macedonia       - 1.2 0.7      -
Moldova 1 20        -      -
Romania 16.9 50        -      -
Serbia 6.9 5.6        -      -
Slovenia 0.06 0.4        -      -

Source: IRENA