Green energy is a cool alternative of energy we consume. It comes from natural sources all around us, such as wind, water and sun, and it replenishes itself all the time, which means, it can continue indefinitely. That is why its other name is “renewable energy.”
Biomass is also a source of renewable energy. It is created from organic matter, usually of animal or plant origin. The latter is produced by waste wood, sawdust, dead tree branches or tree bark, even some types of garbage that people throw out, which are then recycled into “wood biomass”.
Until recently, the power of wood biomass as a source of fuel has been overlooked. However, the trend is moving in the right direction. Evidence in Kosovo suggests that the demand for pellet – one of the most common forms of wood biomass, although only recently introduced, is increasing. This has resulted in an extraordinary growth of import, sales, and most importantly, domestic production in two value chains in Kosovo: the pellet production and stoves and boilers production.
Seeing the growth potential of the energy sector, USAID included this sector in the scope of work of EMPOWER Private Sector. The main objective of this program is to boost job creation. Another objective is to support increased quality of renewable energy and energy efficiency final products and processes, as a way of achieving large-scale job creation in the sector.
As part of this support, EMPOWER Private Sector commissioned an analysis of the physical-chemical qualities of the wood pellet that is found in the Kosovo market. The goal of the analysis was to determine the quality of the wood pellet, either imported or produced in Kosovo.
The local laboratory “Sara and Meti” that was engaged to perform the task, conducted one round of product sampling. The samples were taken from two randomly selected importers, and ten domestic producers. The entire process was based on international standard methods, including ISO and EPA.
Their analysis sought to determine the density, moisture level, ash content, length and diameter, as well as other parameters that affect the quality of the pellet being sold in Kosovo. The analysis revealed that, with few exceptions, most results of pellet fell within the referential norms. The analysis also revealed that the domestic producers scored better than the two randomly selected importers. These better scores impacted three particularly important parameters: density, moisture content and ash content.
This is good news for the consumers.
In spite of these encouraging results, one round of analysis results are not deemed sufficient to draw conclusions on the quality of the pellet produced and sold in Kosovo. Therefore, EMPOWER Private Sector will commission two more rounds of analysis. These additional pellet samples will be taken in summer and autumn/winter, as the period when the samples are taken might influence the analysis results.
Apart from findings, the analysis also provided a set of recommendations highlighting that institutions should provide continuous monitoring of and support to the pellet producers in Kosovo to help them improve productivity, implement international standards, and coordinate logistics. This in turn would have a further positive impact the rapidly growing pellet production sector as a cost-effective alternative to other sources of energy, and naturally, would result in the further growth of the sector and more job creation.