Solar panels on roofs are a rare appearance, but solar and renewable energy is the future

Prof, dr. sc. Neven Duić, FSB / Foto: Maks Petković

“Does the sun shine at all in the Republic of Croatia”, Prof. Dr. sc Neven Duić, from the Faculty of Machine Engineering and Shipbuilding asked while speaking on the use of solars at the beginning of the conference ‘Sunny Days’, the first conference devoted to the use of solar energy, organized in the city of Hvar by the organization Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia and the Island Movement.  During the conference Jutarnji list spoke with professor Duić on ways to stimulate the use of solar energy given the fact that regardless of the great potential very little solar energy is actually used.

When you drive around Croatia solar panels on roofs are quite a rare appearance. Croatia produced only half a percent of electric power from solars even though it has been cost-effective for quite some time now. In other words, it is cheaper to produce one’s own electric power than buy it from the grid, and as we see from the unstoppable growth of fossil fuel prices, it will be increasingly profitable. However, up to the end of last year, only 851 households negotiated a self-supply contract and installed solar panels on their roofs. And we have extraordinary potential. Our roofs amount to some 70 square km and we could produce one forth of electricity in Croatia from these roofs”, Duić emphasized,

Answering the question of where the problem was he said the problem was in the fact that we were too late in initiating the process. “There are no required experts, no companies that could install the panels, local communities found no appropriate approach and they have to help citizens with advice. Citizens are not acquainted with these matters because no one informs them. The problem is when you do want to embark on it there is no one to do it for you because in most of Croatia there are no companies that deal with the matter or else the existing ones are too busy. It is a process that will gradually improve as new companies are constantly being established”, Duić considers.

He also pointed out the problem of attaining the required documents, namely, procedures that last too long. “People say that they wait for the documentation from three to six months which is too long. Anything beyond one month is simply too complicated for people”, he pointed out

He also touched upon the new Electric Power Law and the novelties it brings, the use of solar on islands, and generally on the future of solars in Croatia. “The future is solar and renewable. The thing we can expect in Croatia is to have solar, wind and hydro energy become a greater part of the energy we will use along with some biomass, geothermal and other renewable sources”, Duić concluded.

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