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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

EBRD and RES Croatia cooperate on preparing 2 studies on renewable energy sources

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in cooperation with Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (RESC) is financing the preparation of 2 studies that will become the basis for investments in renewable energy sources and their integration into the power system in Croatia. By doing so, the EBRD and RESC will support the country in achieving the goals set in the Energy Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia until 2030 with a view to 2050.

One of the above joint projects between EBRD and RESC will address the key bottleneck that Croatian renewable sector is facing with regard to integration of variable renewable energy sources into of the power transmission and distribution system. As a result, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing of the University of Zagreb (FEEC) and the Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar (EIHP), hired by EBRD, will develop High-level Analysis of Key Barriers and Proposal to Improve the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Croatia. The second joint project between the EBRD and RESC will result in a creation of a comprehensive Manual for the Development and Implementation of Renewable Energy Projects in the Republic of Croatia. This guide will be produced by EnergoVizija, a  consultancy company working with a team of experienced RES experts.

High-level Analysis of Key Barriers and Proposal to Improve Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Croatia study will provide an overview of the current state of the power transmission and distribution system in the country and propose measures that could facilitate the integration of variable renewable energy sources into the system. The measures will be based on the analysis of the existing connection procedures carried out by Croatian transmission and distribution system operators and will be in line with current practices of other EU countries, taking into account the specific requirements for Croatia. The FEEC and the EIHP, will work together as the two are the leading institutions in the field of power engineering in the region are recognized by numerous international and domestic scientific projects.

The Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing of the University of Zagreb, Prof. Gordan Gledec, PhD points out the following: 

 “This is a study that will address the issues of the power system transition and associated challenges of accepting a large number of new generation plants. Our researchers are among the world’s most influental scientists in the area of power engineering, which is further supported by the numerous competitive projects implemented by the FEEC in this field. The synergy effect, which in this case we achieve in partnership with EIHP, makes us especially happy. We believe this is a valuable opportunity in finding solutions for future challenges awaiting for us in the context of global economy.”

EIHP has been dealing with the issue of RES integration into the power system intensively and for a long time since 1998, when the Government of the Republic of Croatia initiated and EIHP led the development of National Energy Programs for RES use in Croatia, and its director Dražen Jakšić points out:

The initiative, launched by the RESC and recognized by the EBRD, is an excellent example of a joint approach to finding a solution in which investors, operators, consultants and academia will work on a joint proposal to improve the integration of RES in Croatia. We are convinced that such a synergistic approach by involving all stakeholders in this process will contribute to faster and more efficient implementation of the Energy Strategy, which has clearly charted our path to an energy-renewable future.

The Guide for the Development and the Implementation of Renewable Energy Projects in the Republic of Croatia is expectedto address all of the questions from potential investors in Croatian renewable energy market.  It will be a practical guide focused on legislation, environmental protection, permits, financing, the new feed-in premium support scheme, and the operation of the electricity market. In addition, it will propose measures to accelerate and facilitate the development of RES projects in Croatia. The contractor of the study is EnergoVizija Ltd, which hired additional RES experts from the private sector for this project.

“All of experts have been going through all phases of development and realization of RES projects for years and they know well all the steps that need to be made, as well as the obstacles that make their path difficult. Everyone from their field of professional activity has valuable knowledge and experience necessary to create of this manual”, says Kamilo Vrana from EnergoVizija.

Victoria Zinchuk, EBRD Director for Croatia, confirms her strong interest and support for investments in renewable energy market in our country:

“We believe that there is a considerable potential for us in terms of financing of projects to be implemented under the new Croatian renewable support mechanism. EBRD’s clients will benefit from our experience and know-how in structuring the financing of projects under similar support schemes in other countries. In addition to financing, we are committed to provide technical assistance to the government and the sector as a whole. Our new advisory projects, launched together with RES Croatia are focused on successful integration of future renewable energy sources into the power grid given Croatia’s ageing infrastructure, as well as creating an investment guide for future local and international investors interested in Croatian renewable energy market potential. We are in a unique position to be able to deliver and support these advisory projects that  clearly differentiate us from other providers of financing. This holistic approach to the sector, while combining financing and advisory support makes EBRD a reliable partner both for the private and public sector in Croatia and other markets where we operate.”

The beneficiary of EBRD funds for these projects is RESC. Its director, Maja Pokrovac, points out that:

“The RES sector in Croatia is undergoing a constant process of change, adaptation and improvement, and the development of technology, knowledge, experience and decarbonisation goals encourage changes in all stakeholders in the energy sector. The growing interest in investing in RES poses new challenges and it is crucial that we approach them together. This was our goal when gathering experts for the study “High-level Analysis of Key Barriers and Proposal to Improve the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Croatia” and “Manual for Development and Implementation of RES Projects in the Republic of Croatia”. Such studies have never been published in Croatia before. Therefore, we thank the EBRD for recognizing the importance of their financing and the leading Croatian experts who responded to the RESC initiative. Proactivity leads us to common progress!”   

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