Pristina, Kosovo, Oct. 10 – Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank announced on Wednesday that the organization will not be funding a new 500-megawatt (MW) power plant in Kosovo because analysis by the World Bank found that renewable energy sources provide electricity at a lower cost than coal. The decision was informed by reports and analysis led by former SAGE fellow Dr. Noah Kittner, under the direction of Professor Dan Kammen of the Energy and Resources Group and the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). BCGC helped fund Dr. Kittner’s work to update models for Kosovo’s energy strategy, and to travel to meet with the European Climate Foundation in Brussels, the Kosovar Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) in Pristiana, and the European Energy Commission in Brussels to evaluate alternative and renewable energy options.
Our Kosovo project engaged several members of the BCGC community: Heather Buckley oversaw the chemical analysis of the lignite coal samples, relying on Raj Fadadu and Zac Mathe to do the experimental work to quantify the metal contents of the samples. Once the data had been collected, Megan Schwarzman was then able to provide insight on the human health consequences of exposure lignite coal emissions. Noah then worked with Dan Kammen to contextualize the health outcome data within their models of energy generation in the region and generate the series of reports that contributed to the World Bank’s decision. In response to the news, Professor Kammen remarked: “Rarely does a thesis contribute so directly and so immediately to such an event.”