November 22, 2019 / 5:47 PM / 21 days ago

Albania's electricity output drops 27% in third quarter

TIRANA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Albania’s net output of electricity fell by 27.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, as low rainfall curbed production at hydropower plants.

As a result the country had to import more electricity, and exported less, putting further pressure on its economy.

The government this month cut its forecast for economic growth for 2019 to 3.4% from 4.3%, citing falling electricity production this year as the main factor in the downgrade.

Net domestic output of electricity dropped to 1,186 GWh in the third quarter compared to 1,630 GWh produced in the same quarter in 2018, the Institute of Statistics said.

State-owned hydro power stations produced 79.4% of Albania’s electricity and private plants 20%. Energy generated by solar panels, a new trend, accounted for 0.6% of overall energy production in the third quarter.

“The falling output has caused gross imports of electricity to rise by 1.6 times and gross exports of electricity to drop by 2.7 times compared with the same period a year ago,” the Institute said.

Gross imports of electricity rose to 772 GWh in July to September, from 470 GWh in the same months in 2018, while gross exports of electricity dropped to 105 GWh from 287 GWh, the Institute added. (Reporting by Benet Koleka; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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