The geothermal potential of the Republic of Kosovo

Pristina, Kosovo (source: flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0 - William John Gauthier)
Alexander Richter 25 Mar 2020

The Republic of Kosovo is described as having good medium-temperature resources that could help the country in securing energy supply and help mitigate environmental damages through the current use of fossil fuels as energy supply.

This article shared by Atifete Zuna, RWE-Geothermal Energy and Environment describes the heat flow, geothermal fields and potential in the Republic of Kosovo

Kosovo and the region are facing two big energy challenges. The first one is the lack of continues supply of energy as a result of decrease of energy assets. The second challenge is the environmental damages and impact on the climate change.

Energy and the environment are two essential factors for continues development. Geothermal energy is either directly being exploited with the increasing contribution in the balance of heat energy, and is generative “friendly” environmental during the generation process and other economic, economically and politically activities for the sake of a better life.

Kosovo is considered a rich country regarding geothermal energy as participated by the Western Balkans. Geothermal characteristics are very interesting. The Earth’s crust varies in thickness, increasing to the west. In extending south-north-west of the Dinarides, this thickness is uniform, about 30- 40 km towards the border with Albania, an increase towards Serbia.

The phenomena of heat, in the longitudinal belt east of Pristina up to the border with Serbia, are conditioned by changes lithological and tectonic geo-local terrain. Fully conditioned by the geology of tectonic zones in the regional existing structural lit logo situation, geothermal gradient values are different. In the Dukagjini Basin, to others G = 0.035 degrees Celsius/m to 0.05 degrees Celsius/m.  The gradient isolates coincided with the increase of the heat flow density from 40, 50 and 60 Wm/m2 respectively, towards Pristine. The gradient changes coincide with the extent of structural Dinaride with belts the Drini Ivanice. The average gradients are explained by almost intensive groundwater flow, of the plain Dukagjini.

The distribution of the temperature range for the depth of 1000 meters is 30 until to 400 degrees Celsius, with an increase of 65 to 70 degrees Celsius, in depth over 1000 meters. Regionalization zones are based on the geothermal phenomena and thermal of waters sources of low enthalpy in certain in place, where can be expected considerable geothermal energy, for utilization. Regionalized geothermal zones such as Dukagjini with its sub zone Drenic and Malishevo, in Moravo of Bincit and Rogozna, by the sub zone of Lab, from the perspective of geothermal exploitation are highly promising areas.


Figure 1. Geothermal zone in R. of Kosovo (Zuna.A., 2015)

It has been estimated that the number of thermal springs and wells in Kosovo with low enthalpy is around twenty (20) with temperatures less than 60 degrees Celsius. Their aquifers are formed in sedimentary karst rocks of the Mesozoic and Paleozoic age of limestone and dolomite, with a thickness of more than 500 m, depth their aquifers are formed in karst sedimentary rocks the Mesozoic and Paleozoic age of limestone and dolomite, with a thickness of more than 500 m, depth.  The potential of geothermal pleasantly is appreciated by 10.92 (MWth) close to 14.5 (MWth), and the annual energy from 108.5 ( TJ/year ) until at close to 250 ( TJ/year ).

These resources not only are efficient but are better for the local, regional as well as global environment. According to the general estimates, certain areas by geothermal potential offer satisfactory heat generated from soil to successfully utilize directly with modern technology-heat pumps. This heat utilization will be by efficiency on the heat energy balance in Kosovo, and the environmental protection.

Based on the definition of temperatures and heat flow density at varying depths in the soil, average assessment of the geothermal gradient and definition regionalized geothermal zones by hydro geothermal waters, we can say that: in Kosovo geothermal regime in designated geothermal zones and sub zones in North West, North-South-East and in the central part of Kosovo. Atifete Zuna, RWE-Geothermal energy and Environment, corresponding: E-mail: