During a press release, the Minister for the Infrastructure and Energy Damian Gjiknuri stated that "the drought-stricken energy crisis is heading towards stabilization". But his statements are far from reality.
Albania has struggled with the production and the distribution of electrical power for decades.
The system has never operated under normal standards of uninterrupted electrical power.
After 1990, the poorly designed urban planning and the upward social mobility put a heavy burden on the entire energy system.
In fact, the energy in Albania is based on two main sources, hydropower and thermopower energy. The country's generating capacity is 1659 MWh/day . 87% of the electrical energy is produced from hydropower plants (HPP) and 13% are produced from thermal power plants (TPP)
During the era of the planned economy, the electricity generated by the HPP covered more or less the basic needs of consumers and producers.
With the influx of new technologies, the rising of living standards, the production and the distribution of electrical power deteriorated. It could not keep up with the growing consumer demands. It remains one of the lowest performing parts of the economy.
The system, for many years, has been devastated by corruption and allegations of mismanagement under foreign companies.
Albania has a dry climate in the summer and wet winters. The water flow in dams is highly problematic during the dry season. Thus, the state relies on importing the electrical power from the neighboring countries, but the rising costs and high market prices limit the capacity to buy enough to cover the needs of the consumers.
During the drought season in the entire region, the crisis intensifies. OSHEE, the state subcontractor company subsidizes most of the investments, Gjinkuri said. OSHEE covers the distribution and the powerlines.
The state is the sole shareholder and responsible for consumer distribution. In the last twenty years, the electrical grid has known many crises and an overload above its capacities. Prime Minister Rama has taken a drastic approach by harshly reprimanding the debtors and those illegally obtaining electrical power.
The problem will not go away easily. The responsibility of the government finding ways of generating power, and increase powerline capacity is outside of its reach. Depending on import and on the raining season to meet consumers' needs no longer works for Albania.