Even with an increasing number of solar roofs, Croatia is far from using its full potential

Maja Pokrovac, direktorica OIEH/ Foto: Maks Petković

Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (OIEH) and the  Island Movement organized in late September and early October a conference on the use of solar energy ‘Sunny Days’. Prior to the Conference, Jutarnji list spoke to Maja Pokrovac, director of OEIH, about the key element that would increase the use of solar energy in Croatia.

“The increased number of solar roofs in the last few years is quite noticeable and a growing number of citizens and companies are recognizing the benefits of solar energy, although that is insufficient in view of the potentials we have. The growing interest can be attributed to new energy policies and technological progress that enables the production of electricity from the Sun to become economically cost-effective. Today, solar energy is the most favorable option on the market and with the development of technology, the cost-effectiveness of investments will only continue to rise. However, in order to fully capitalize on the solar potential, a stable regulatory framework is essential. That is the starting point of everything”, Pokrovac emphasized.

She added that the regulatory framework is the key and indispensable factor in the creation of a positive environment and defining of clear and precise conditions under which investments can be implemented in all RES projects. “Only in this way, developers, investors and certainly citizens as well, will be offered an understandable and reliable administrative, operational and financial course of the projects. In addition, undoubtedly all other conditions required for the development of investment projects must be met, both in Croatia and in any other country in the world: efficient, unbiased and

 quick acting judiciary, favourable financial conditions, a stable environment of low political and fiscal risks”, the OIEH director underlined.

 She pointed out that optimism for the forthcoming period comes from the new Law on the Electric Power Market and Law on Renewable Energy Sources and Highly Efficient Co-generation which will come into force by the end of the year and bring significant changes. ”Novelties such as active buyers and citizens energy communities are being introduced – concepts that will enable all end-users to directly participate in the production, consumption or sharing of electric power. In addition, new energy activities will be introduced, such as aggregation, energy storage, closed distribution system operators, and electro-mobility as important elements of the energy transition.  I believe both laws will enhance the use of solar energy in Croatia and citizens will have the opportunity to actively participate given that conditions are being created for the growth of solar production on family homes as well as on apartment buildings” she clarified.

She pointed out that solar energy in synergy with numerous sectors can meet numerous energy requirements. She went on to add that its advantages are increasingly being recognized in the automobile industry, agriculture, the construction sector, mining, hydrogen production, etc.

“According to HEP-ODS data at our disposal, solar capacities of 27 MW were installed in 2020, while cumulatively to date we have 108 MW installed. The goal for 2021 is 132 MW (NECP) and year in year out the goal is rising. If we are to strengthen the use of solars in all spheres of society and alleviate access to the commercialization of potentials. I am certain that we can exceed the set goals”, Pokrovac concluded.

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