E-consultation with the public on the Draft Proposal of the Croatian Hydrogen Strategy from 2021 to 2050, prepared by the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, will last until 27 February – as reported by Jutarnji list.
At its 45th session, held on 25 February 2021, the Government of the Republic of Croatia endorsed the Decision on the initiation of the procedure of drawing up a Croatian Hydrogen Strategy from 2021 to 2050 to be adopted by the Croatian Parliament on the basis of the Government’s proposal. The Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development was entrusted with its elaboration, so on 18 March 2021, the Minister brought a Decision on the establishment of an expert working group which he is to head. The task of the group is to prepare all the analytical groundwork based on the National Development Strategy and Energy Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia to the year 2030 and beyond to 2050 as well as a draft document that will include, following the public discussion, all the relevant stakeholders and enable the development of strategic goals linked to an economy based on hydrogen.
Hydrogen, as an energy carrier has been a topic of discussion for quite some time and is a component part of the plans of the European Union member states and more broadly. With a view to adapting to climate change the European Green Plan was adopted which set the goal of Europe becoming the first climate-neutral continent by the year 2050. By adopting the European Green Plan, the EU has heightened its ambitions in regard to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) and raised its initial goal for 2030 to minus 55 percent as compared to 1990. The reduction of CO2 emissions is geared at maintaining temperatures below 2 C (also aimed at 1.5 C) in relation to average pre-industrial levels.
It is emphasized in the Croatian Proposal that the Republic of Croatia has been exerting considerable efforts in recent years to de-carbonize the energy sector and the economy. Accordingly, the development of energy from renewable sources has been promoted as well as the enhancement of energy efficiency in the industry and in households. The Croatian goal is to have 36.5 percent of electric power in the direct gross consumption from renewable sources by the year 2030. This percentage includes increased RES in the transportation and heating and cooling systems. In addition, goals have also been set, in accordance with the integrated energy and climate plans, for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 (-7 percent in the non-ETS sector and -43 percent in the ETS sector) as well as in regard to energy efficiency.
The objective of attaining the goals from the National Energy and Climate Plan to 2030 linked to the reduction of CO2 emissions and increasing the share of RES in the overall energy consumption as well as the enhancement of energy efficiency requires the establishment of a more powerful and efficient electric power energy infrastructure (at the transmission and distribution levels) that will enable the reception of new quantities of energy from RES and enable the stability of the system.
Likewise, the necessity of promoting the electrification of transportation was also emphasized (by using electric power and renewable hydrogen). The strategy, therefore, established the framework possibilities of developing the production, storage, transportation, and generally the use of hydrogen with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions as well as the possibility of integrating into the economy the equipment production sector (such as electrolyte bundles and fuel joint bundles, measuring and managing equipment, sensors, etc.), that would enable technological adjustment and participation on the European and world market of hydrogen technologies, as underscored in the introduction to the Draft Proposal of the Croatian Hydrogen Strategy from 2021 to 2050.
It was noted that the overall annual energy in the Republic of Croatia amounts to about 100 TWh. Out of that, approximately 50 percent comes from imported energy, while 35 percent of the energy imported accounts for electric power. In line with the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience (NPRR), Croatia plans to connect 1500 MW of new electric energy sources from RES to the energy system by the end of 2024. In addition, in line with the energy strategy of the Republic of Croatia, it plans to develop about 2500 MW of installed capacity by the year 2030, all with the aim of providing the production of clean energy that would satisfy the country’s own needs. It is expected that the production of hydrogen in Croatia too will be based on the research, development, and application of all the possibilities of producing low carbon hydrogen in existing industrial centers which will represent future hydrogen demand centers.
It was emphasized that the realization and implementation of the decarbonization process in Croatia require the establishment of an economy based on hydrogen. At the same time, the possibilities stemming from an economy based on hydrogen represent an additional impetus to the transition of the present economy to a green and progressive economy the foundation of which will be the development of clean technologies opening thereby new opportunities.