Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Lika Awarded Green Destination 2021

October 6, 2021 - After having been given its first award back in 2020, seeing the gorgeous green region of Lika awarded Green Destination 2021 this year provides some hope for this lovely, but poor and deserted region.

Lika, the largest Croatian region, remained among the hundred top green and sustainable destinations in the entire world in 2021. This valuable recognition (which Lika was first recognised for in 2020), was assigned by the Global Green Destination trust fund. The organisation started rating global destinations worldwide seven years ago, and as their website says, they benefit the destinations, representatives, and stakeholders in "green" communities. The end game: making places better and more sustainable.

''Adopting these GREEN values will help destinations to enhance their quality, attractiveness, and competitiveness; it will help attract ''green travellers'', respectful visitors who will spend more in these destinations. These GREEN values are the basis of our programmes for policy improvement, Destination Awards and certification. Green Destinations works together with the tourism business and media partners in order to make the green offer of destinations more visible on the marketplace,'' explains Global Green Destination.

The Lika Destination tourist cluster is very much aware of all the benefits which go hand in hand with this recognition for which they worked really hard. As N1 reports, Lika Destination does its work under the motto ''Smart sustainable destination''.

''Lika is special for many reasons. Almost 60% of its surface is protected. There are eight protected areas here, including three national parks, and the pure nature allows for the growth of quality products,'' the Lika Destination cluster told N1.

They added that they are proud that international experts recognised their efforts in promoting Lika and building up the region in an eco-friendly matter.

''For this year's admission, we had to fulfill 30 criteria, which is as twice as much than was necessary last year. In addition, we had to submit a story of good practice which this year, just as before, focused on local products with the mark ''Lika Quality''. Connecting local manufacturers with other tourist actors is something we've worked on in this cluster since day one. That's the main factor of Lika's development,'' concluded Lika Destination for N1.

That progress is definitely needed. As Večernji List recalled, Lika used to be an agricultural Mecca capable of feeding half of Croatia. Sadly, much like Slavonia, the region was devastated during the Homeland War and all of the former industry is now gone. One hundred years ago, Lika boasted over 200,000 residents, and now there are only around 40,000 left.

Naturally, it is expected that the number will be even lower when the 2021 population census is completed.

Speaking of Lika's many green areas, the oldest Croatian National Park, Plitvice Lakes, is also located there. Learn more in our TC guide.

For more about Lika, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 1 October 2021

Solar Energy Conference: Procedures Need to Be Stepped Up

ZAGREB, 1 Oct 2021 - The solar sector is developing very slowly in Croatia even though the price of solar energy has never been lower, hence it is necessary to encourage greater efficiency by the competent institutions and to educate citizens, a two-day solar energy conference on the island of Hvar heard on Friday.

"The price of electricity from solar power plants today is lower than ever but Croatia's solar sector is developing very slowly and the relevant procedures need to be stepped up and people need to be educated," Professor Neven Duić of the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture said at the conference.

The conference, entitled "Days of the Sun", brought together key stakeholders in Croatia's energy transition - members of the academic community, equipment producers, representatives of the banking system, investors, regional and local government officials as well as representatives of state institutions and ministries.

Apart from discussing various financial models for the solar sector and its launching, the conference will discuss the new legislative framework for the green transition, the future of photovoltaic power plants and solar technology in Croatia, innovations and application of solar energy in the business sector, the use of renewable energy sources in agriculture, and the implementation of the EU Green Deal at the national level.

"Local government has an opportunity to be more active in the coming period to inform citizens and promote the use of renewable sources, develop strategies and plans and actively participate in investments... these projects bring concrete benefits that can have a positive effect on the communities they govern," said Maja Jurišić of the Island Movement association, one of the organisers of the conference.

She underscored that renewable energy sources should be treated as a public good.

The director of SolarPower Europe, Walburga Hemetsberger, underscored that the solar energy sector was expected to grow significantly over the next five years, primarily due to the acceptable costs of such projects.

SolarPower Europe is a leading European organisation of stakeholders in the use of solar energy and it comprises research centres, banks, investors, entrepreneurs and others in the solar energy sector.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Osijek Celebrates International Drava River Day with Rich Program

September 25, 2021 - Osijek celebrated International Drava River Day on Friday, with many events that both entertained and educated locals on the importance of the Drava ecosystem.

The city of Osijek, Public Institution for Environmental Protection of Osijek-Baranja County, Osijek Tourist Board, Osijek-Baranja Tourist Board, Osijek-Baranja County's Development Agency are few of the ten organizers of Osijek's International Drava River Day commemoration program that was held on Friday.

International Drava River Day is marked on September 24, and as TCN wrote earlier this week, it was also celebrated in the city of Varaždin. The most diverse fish in Croatia live in the Drava river, and last week, UNESCO declared Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.

Perhaps that is the reason why, as Akademija Art informs, this year's program in Osijek (the biggest city in the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia) is on a much higher level than usual.

From cruising on the left side of the Drava river, watching 5,000 rowing regattas to professional lectures on the Drava river by Dr. Mirna Habuda Stanić, citizens of Osijek had loads of interesting Drava-related things to see and do on Friday. Additionally, making carp fish on a stick (the specialty of the Slavonian cuisine) demonstration and the traditional Fiš Paprikaš (fish stew) topped off the event.

The celebration also opened a new chance for photographers in the area, as the Public Institution for Environmental Protection of Osijek-Baranja County holds a contest for their upcoming calendar. This is a good direction, as the commemoration program aims to promote the richness of cultural heritage and tradition in cooperation with the local population.

„It's important to mark all-natural values of our county for which we must take care of, as well as educating citizens on environmental protection, starting from the smallest ones,“ said Osijek-Baranja county deputy chief Josip Miletić, as quoted by Akademija Art.

The busy program also made time for the presentation of the Amazon of Europe Project with the idea of preserving the aforementioned biodiversity of the UNESCO-protected Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.

„Despite numerous man-made changes in the past, this stunning river landscape hosts an amazing biological diversity and is a hotspot of rare natural habitats such as large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sandbanks, side branches, and oxbows", says the Amazon of Europe website.

Learn more about Osijek in our TC guide.

For more about biodiversity in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Energy And Climate Change Program: Call For Green Energy Projects

September 24, 2021 - The Energy And Climate Change Program published three public calls for green energy projects. The deadline for new ideas is November 24.

Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) is already enrolled in the DANUP-2-Gas Project (concerned with introducing renewable energy to the Danube region) and the REPLACE Project (for replacing current heating and cooling systems in Primorska Goranska county with eco-friendly variants). But, this doesn't mean that it isn't keeping an eye for new initiatives and endeavors in the energy-efficient sector.

In part of the „Energy and Climate Change“ (ECC) Program, the EIHP informs that the first three calls for delivering project proposals were published on September 14, and the admissions are open until November 24.

„Acceptable applicants are all legal subjects, whether public or private, commercial or non-commercial organizations as well as non-governmental organizations, founded in Croatia. Additionally, project partners, apart from Croatian, can also include legal persons founded in donator countries (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein)“, says the EIHP website.

EIHP also elaborated all three calls for those who are interested in participating.

The first one, titled „Increased Solar Energy Production Capacity“, is worth 7,400,000.00 EUR and supports pilot projects of integrated photovoltaic powerplants with the goal of boosting exploitation of solar energy.

The second call worth 1.534.000,00 EUR is called „Energy Production From the Sea“ and looks for pilot projects and pre-investment studies for implementing a system of sea source heat pumps for heating and cooling.

Finally, the third call named „Technical Documentation For Geothermal Energy“ worth 3,000,000.00 EUR asks for making technical documentation needed to develop projects of geothermal energy.

„The main goal of the Programme “Energy and Climate Change” (ECC) is to increase the usage of technologies with lower carbon emissions and enlarged security of energy supply in the Republic of Croatia, which is aligned to the key objectives of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism. The Programme is particularly focused on energy efficiency measures and the promotion of renewable energy sources, including geothermal, marine and solar energy sources“, explains the eeagrants website.

EIHP adds that the projects that will be accepted in these public calls are co-financed by the EAA financial mechanism for the 2014-2021 period by 85%.

Or as the eeagrants website clarifies, EEA gave 17 million EUR for the ECC program while Croatia (in the domain of Croatian Regional Development Ministry) covers the rest with 3 million EUR.

The project proposals are awaited in hopes Croatia will continue its green energy revolution. Remembering the previous article from TCN about the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar being the first nearly zero energy building in Croatia, it's clear the country is on a good way so far.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Pula Car-Free Day: Should Lungomare Promenade be Car-Free?

September 23, 2021 - Pula Car-Free Day was commemorated on September 22nd, 2021, just like in many cities and towns worldwide. The event, which is part of European Mobility Week, also raised the question of whether or not should Pula's Lungomare promenade be closed for car traffic in general.

Given that Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, the city may often take up more room on the Croatian news scene than other cities and places in the country. Such an example was the programme the city prepared for European Mobility Week (like the event in the Zagreb City Museum), the celebration of which took place on Wednesday with the commemoration of World Car-Free Day on September the 22nd.

That said, other towns in Croatia had their programmes too. One such example is the Eastern Istrian coastal town of Pula.

As the local Pula.hr website stated, this year's edition of the European Mobility Week programme in Pula was added to with a motto ''Mobility with zero-emissions for everyone'', with which Pula entered its fifteenth year of organising activities for the occasion.

''In marking this important event, partners from the Muscular Dystrophy Society of Istria, the Istria County police force, and the Croatian Car Club Pula-Rovinj have been joining us every year. By participating in European Mobility Week, we want to encourage sustainable development and upgrade urban traffic. Twenty new buses operating in Pula are fueled by natural gas which satisfies the highest ecological standards and are adapted to disabled people. This all contributes to the image of Pula as a modern European town,'' said Pula's Deputy Mayor Elena Puh Belci at the opening in the programme earlier this week.

On Wednesday, in the spirit of Car-Free Days, the main waterfront, Lungo Mare promenade, was closed for car traffic from 06:30 to 15:30.

''The pedestrians we bumped into yesterday thought some construction work was underway instead of it all being a promotion of a more healthy lifestyle, given the no-traffic-sign was placed all the way from Valkan to Mornar,'' wrote the local Glas Istre daily newspaper.

Glas Istre journalists also asked the locals whether or not Lungomare should be closed for traffic in general and not just symbolically on September the 22nd.

''It would actually be really nice if people could have a promenade without traffic so they could walk its whole length. Given that the younger population gathers here on benches at night, maybe it would be good for the promenade to be open for traffic from 22:00 to 06:00,'' locals Tin Knežević and Ana Milotić told Glas Istre.

''It should be closed off for traffic. People need to move more and walk around more, and there's too much traffic here. People want to jump straight from their cars into the sea without doing any walking. The beginning of this road is slim and the road from the restaurants goes off in two directions, so everyone should arrive here by walking,'' said Marta Pešutić.

While many in the article felt that cars on Lungomare should be limited, apart from not being sure whether or not something like that would be possible in the near future, some people also openly took into account the fact that cars aren't useless.

''Cars get in the way, but sometimes they're needed, so maybe we should think about that too,'' concluded Glas Istre with a quote from Mira Filipović.

Learn more about Pula in our TC guide

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Klima-Forum Conference: All Things Cooling and Air-Conditioning to be Discussed in Umag

September 17, 2021 - Set to be held in Umag on October 7-8, the Klima-Forum Conference is the event to go to for discussions on the contemporary issues of cooling systems and air conditioning in Croatia. Registrations for participation are now underway.

''Nineteen days and eighteen hours'' is displayed on the countdown on the Energetika-marketing.hr website at the time of writing this article. For the professional air-conditioning community, the countdown is more than exciting, as it points how much time remains until the 8th edition of the Klima-Forum, the event about all things related to Cooling, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning.

''The westernmost part of Istria, the first days of autumn, beautiful nature, a pleasant climate... could there ever be a better environment for a discussion and an exchange of experiences, opinions and ideas, for the presentation of new products, solutions and implemented projects in refrigeration, ventilation and air-conditioning technology?'' wonders Energetika-marketing.hr while inviting interested parties to the forum that will take place in Umag on October 7-8 at the Sol Garden Istra hotel.

Even though the application section on the website is made for registration and accommodation, the website nevertheless warns that interested people should send an inquiry to register for both participation and accommodation via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At the moment, admissions are being taken both for those who just want to come and learn more as well as for authors who also want to present their work in the field of cooling systems. 

''The authors of presentations that will be presented at the conference are exempt from paying the registration fee on the day they present their presentation. If a presentation has more than one author, the one who will present at the conference is the one exempt from paying the registration fee,'' says the website. 

The program that includes round-tables, discussions, and lectures has been divided into six thematic sections. 

On Thursday, October 7, the themes will be Globally and Locally (on laws and practices in Croatia, Europe, and the rest of the world), Ventilation and Air-conditioning (on the pandemic, health protection, cleaning solutions, and more), and Regulation and Control (on smart grids, buildings, and similar topics).

The next day, October 8, the forum will deal with the themes of Projects and Solutions (designing, testing and implementing cooling systems, etc.), Renovation and Modernisation (nearly zero-energy buildings, energy renovation), and finally, Efficiency and Development (the energy consumption of cooling and ventilation systems and more).

With concerns about energy efficiency continuing to take a front seat for the climate change topic, this conference is another environmentally friendly step forward for Croatia. As TCN previously wrote, positive examples include the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP), being the first nearly-zero energy building in Croatia, and the REPLACE Project, to name just a couple of examples.

Several scientific-technical are also keenly backing this upcoming event. These five patrons are the University of Rijeka, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (University of Split), the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (University of Zagreb), the Croatian Chamber of Engineers, and the Croatian Association for Cooling, Air-Conditioning and Heat Systems.

In addition, the lead patron is the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK)

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 17 September 2021

DANUP-2-Gas Project: Danube Countries United in Introducing Renewable Energy

September 17, 2021 - The DANUP-2-Gas Project, developing renewable energy opportunities for all Danube countries, is set to hold a stakeholder event on September 28 at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FER).

The beautiful Danube region in Slavonia, apart from boasting natural beauty, also has a lot of historical and archaeological significance. This is evident with the European Commission having recognised the ''Iron Age Danube Route'' earlier this year.

That being said, the Danube river also boasts a political and economic factors, the one that unites all the countries through which the Danube flows. One form of such international cooperation is the DANUP-2-GAS project.

''The Danube region holds huge potential for sustainable generation and the storage of renewable energy. However, to date, this region has remained highly dependent on energy imports, while energy efficiency, diversity and renewables share are low. In line with the EU climate targets for 2030 and the EUSDR PA2 goals, DanuP-2-Gas will advance transnational energy planning by promoting generation and storage strategies for renewables in the Danube region by coupling electric power and the gas sector,'' says the official website of Interreg Danube which is handling the project.

In an effort to achieve their goals, the DANUP-2-Gas project aims to bring together energy agencies, business actors, public authorities, and research institutions to join the cause.

The project started on the July 1 2020, and it will last until the end of 2022. So far, 24 institutions from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and of course Croatian partners have begun cooperating for DANUP-2-Gas, united by the geographical fact that the Danube connects them all. The Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP), the International Centre for the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, and the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) are the project's Croatian representatives. Check out the full list of partners in the project here.

As (EIHP) reported on its website, September 28 will be an important date for the DANUP-2-Gas project as FER will hold a stakeholder event from 09:30 to 12:30, the lectures held in English will explain the potential of the project, as well as the uses and benefits of renewable energy in the hope of encouraging more support.

The event is imagined as a hybrid event, being held partly online and partly in person, but as EIHP warns, there is a risk of the event ending up being held entirely online, depending on the epidemiological situation.

''Based on the platform developed during the DTP project ENERGY BARGE, it will incorporate all pre-existing tools and an atlas, mapping previously unexamined available biomass and energy infrastructure. Further, a pre-feasibility study utilising an optimisation tool for efficient hub design will identify suitable locations for sectors coupling hubs and a combination of two idle resources in the Danube region.

The unused organic residue (e.g., straw) will be processed to biochar for easy transport along the Danube river and as the basis for synthesis gas generation. Adding hydrogen produced from surplus renewable energy allows for the upgrading of this syngas to a renewable natural gas. This will enable the storage of surplus energy in the existing gas distribution grid, increasing energy security and efficiency. All of the resources required for this process are available in the Danube region and the ten partner countries,'' the Interreg Danube website stated, elaborating the positive changes it is attempting to achieve.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Ruđer Bošković Institute Plasmonic Effect Research Shows Promise

September 10, 2021 -The Ruđer Bošković Institute plasmonic effect research described the property of nanoisland metal films of silver and copper which can be seen in various applications, particularly in green technology development.

Metal nanoparticles are submicron scale entities made of pure metals (e.g., gold, platinum, silver, titanium, zinc, cerium, iron, and thallium) or their compounds (e.g., oxides, hydroxides, sulfides, phosphates, fluorides, and chlorides), as explained by the Science Direct website.

When it comes to modern science, a particular interest in metals has now shifted to the Plasmonic effect. This effect is an interaction between free electrons in metal nanoparticles and incident light, as briefly explained by the National Institute of Technology Calicut physics department researcher Shamjid Palappra.

With this question raising curiosity among scientists worldwide, it was impossible for the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) in Zagreb and their optics laboratory to not dive into the subject themselves.

As IRB reported, Matej Bubaš, Vesna Janicki, Stefano A. Mezzasalma, Maria Chiara Spadaro, Jordi Arbiol, and Jordi Sancho-Parramon authored a research titled ''Tailoring plasmonic resonances in Cu-Ag metal islands films'' which was then published in a respected Applied Surface Science journal.

IRB's optics lab collaborated on this research with colleagues from the Lund Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science (LINXS) in Sweden, and two institutions from Catalonia in Spain, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and ICREA.

''The plasmonic response of Cu-Ag metal islands films is being investigated. Films are obtained by the subsequent electron beam deposition of Ag and Cu using different fabrication conditions: the deposited mass thickness, then comes the substrate temperature, and then the post-deposition annealing in the vacuum. The optical properties of the films are investigated by spectroscopic ellipsometry and then correlated with the structural characterisation results obtained by electron microscopy,'' explained the abstract of the research concerning the metal island combination of silver (Ag) and copper (Cu).

''Overall, it has been shown that Cu-Ag island films are compelling systems for plasmonic applications, as their optical response can be widely and easily tuned by adjusting the fabrication conditions,'' the abstract summarised.

IRB's press release clarified the research goals, stating that the scientists described how plasmonic properties could be adjusted for the preferred types of radiation, be it infrared, visible light, or ultraviolet radiation. These descriptions and setup possibilities of nanoisland plasmonic properties bring with them a plethora of applications.

''Devices that use plasmonic effects already upgraded their diagnostics and spectroscopy, while research in the direction of upgrading the conversion of solar energy and manufacturing catalysts that would turn toxic compounds into useful ones carry great potential for the development of new green technologies,'' pointed out IRB's press release.

Developing green technologies and turning toxic compounds into useful ones is not a new thing for IRB, as TCN previously reported.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković: "Protecting the Environment Contributes to Prosperity"

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - Protecting the environment contributes to prosperity, particularly in tourist countries like Croatia, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said in Vienna on Tuesday.

"The pandemic has taught us the importance of multilateralism. We have to step up our global efforts in the fight against climate change and stimulate green transition and economic growth," Jandroković said at the Fifth World Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Speakers of Parliament.

"Protecting the environment contributes to prosperity, particularly in countries whose economy depends on tourism, like Croatia," he said.

Jandroković believes that "cooperation, changing the approach, and finding a balance between economic growth and the quality of life, are key to creating a sustainable future."

Croatia's National Development Strategy for the period until 2030 emphasises just that - a sustainable economy, green and digital transition and the well-being of citizens, he said.

"This isn't just about economic growth, but, more importantly, about prosperity, well-being, balance between private and business life, and the quality of life. It also has to do with access to health and welfare services, education, etc," he added.

Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Jandroković said that "it will have a lasting impact on the world as we know it, causing changes to our way of living, education, communication, etc.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is an international organisation bringing together 179 national parliaments.

During the conference, Jandroković is expected to meet with Austria's Parliament Speaker Wolfgang Sobotka on Tuesday, while on Wednesday he will meet with representatives of the Croat community in Austria.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 6 September 2021

New Croatian Energy Label: More Transparence for Light Source Efficiency

September 6, 2021 - A new Croatian energy label with more arranged levels of energetic efficiency and a QR code that connects buyers directly to the European Commission database offers more transparency to Croatian buyers.

Noted for promoting energy efficiency, particularly within the REPLACE Project, the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) is also involved in the Label 2020 project. As EIHP reported, since September 1, 2021, a new energy label has been providing more information on the energy efficiency of light source products.

The Label 2020 website explains that this new Croatian energy label developed better information for customers to educate them further on product efficiency.

This includes levels A-G (With A being the most energy efficient and G being the least efficient), with QR codes on the top of the label that provide a direct link to the European Commission's database for transparency and easier market control from the national government. In addition, energy spending is portrayed in a more express way in the middle of the energy label, while the bottom of the label has various pictograms which provide information on the selected features of the product.

''Several pictograms are the same as in the old label, some have been reviewed, and others are completely new,'' pointed out Label 2020.

''The EU energy tag for devices has remained a crucial starter for innovation and the market development of energy efficient technologies over the last 20 years. The energy label plays a two-part role in innovation stimulation for manufacturers and demanding efficient devices for buyers,'' explained Label 2020.

The new energy Croatian label aims to support all branches of the energy sale on the consumption market. From consumers and (professional) buyers through an information campaign, services and tools, to distributers (with the implementation of the label at the stores and for online purchase), manufacturers (by delivering the correct labels and product info), as well as for others.

With the new Croatian energy label having been a staple for the past 20 years, the change was triggered by the previous A level having three sublevels which opens doors for the incorrect advertising of products that weren't really energy efficient.

''Therefore, the European Union changed and optimised the label in line with the needs of the users. The new label was presented to buyers in physical stores and online on March 1, 2021, and includes energy classes from A to G. These scales will be updated regularly,'' said the website.

With the aforementioned QR code link being the strongest and most innovative demonstration of transparency of the updated system, the sparks of electricity will hopefully be greener than last month as Croatian buyers now have more options to make an informed purchase.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about energy efficiency in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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