Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Conference: Croatia Can Be a Leader in Green Energy Production

ZAGREB, 6 July 2022 - Owing to its geographic position and abundance of water, sun and wind, Croatia can become a leader in green energy production and an energy hub in this part of Europe, the conference "REPowerEU - Regional Partnership for Fast Energy Transition" heard in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Speaking at the conference, organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB), Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipović said that with the help of money from the REPowerEU plan, Croatia would double the capacity of its LNG terminal on Krk island, expand Plinacro's gas network and additionally boost the JANAF oil pipeline's capacity.

Boosting the capacity of the LNG terminal and the gas pipeline leading to Slovenia and Hungary will make it possible to supply those countries with energy products, the minister said, adding that JANAF's capacity could be doubled.

He said that the EC's REPowerEU plan was aimed at ending Europe's dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2030.

The EC's plans also include joint gas procurement, the filling of gas storage facilities at European level, implementation of renewables projects and improvement of infrastructure connectivity across Europe, he said.

The REPowerEU plan means much for Croatia as well as its neighbourhood, Filipović said, noting that one should increase investments in gas pipelines and that a medium-term goal was for Croatia to supply gas and some other energy products also to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More than €2.2 bn for greener Croatia

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak said that more than 30% of funding from the European Regional Development Fund had been made available for an energy-wise greener Croatia in the period until 2027.

The amount in question is more than €2.2 billion, and if other sources of financing are added to it, the amount rises to more than €2.5 billion, she said.

The head of the EIB Office in Zagreb, Anton Kovačev, said that growing energy prices were strongly affecting the European economy and that the EIB Group had a major role in ensuring a strong and healthy economic recovery of European countries, with emphasis on green projects.

It is good that Croatia has enough water, wind and sun energy, and they should be used, he said.

The head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Ognian Zlatev, said that energy was the most talked-about topic today.

The world we live in is dangerous, with Russia having weaponised energy, Zlatev said.

All European countries, including Croatia, should save energy, he said, noting that one should invest in energy efficient buildings, electric cars, etc.

EIB vice-president Tereza Czerwinska said that the Ukraine-Russia war had swept over the European landscape, causing all possible kinds of crisis - from personal to energy.

Europe is making effort to reduce dependence on Russian energy and seeking ways to find an alternative, she said.

More should be invested in energy efficiency, and it will also be crucial to invest in high-risk projects and innovations regarding new technologies, Czerwinska stressed.

It was also noted at the conference that Croatia and Slovenia are an excellent example of regional cooperation, largely owing to the fact that they developed as part of the same system, that the biggest national companies have been treating both countries for a long time as a single market, and that that integration will additionally increase after Croatia's imminent euro area accession.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Croatian Government Incentives for Electric Vehicle Purchases Begin

May the 22nd, 2022 - Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles have begun, but precisely how does one get to the magical 70,000 kuna figure?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Environmental Protection Fund is preparing this year's public call for co-financing the purchase of more energy efficient vehicles, which has been very popular with Croatian customers for years. Vecernji list learns that a public call will be published in June.

"In 2022, the Fund provided 108.3 million kuna to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles. Compared to last year, we've increased the total budget for both people and companies, which will now amount to 103.3 million kuna, last year we provided 90 million kuna, while the remaining budget of 5 million kuna is intended for the public sector. The method of application for both people and for companies will be the same as it was last year.

At the end of May, we intend to publish a public call for expressions of interest towards car distributors, and in June, a public call for co-financing the purchase of electric vehicles for people and companies. The amount of Croatian Government incentives per vehicle won't change this year and will amount to anywhere between 20 and 70 thousand kuna, depending on the category of vehicle,'' they commented from the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency.

This means that this year, too, the implementation of Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles will be carried out according to the procedure which was initially introduced last year, which has proven to be more efficient than the previous practice. To be more specific, last year, a new, changed procedural method was introduced, according to which the famous ''first come, first serve'' method was avoided, ie the model according to which Croatian Government incentives were only given to those who managed to apply first.

Aside from the fact that such a system was criticised by both people and by numerous legal entities, it was also unsuccessful because in the end, only 50 percent of the people to whom the incentive was approved, actually ended up using the incentive for their purchase.

Under this new system, people and legal entities no longer apply to the public call directly, but through authorised motor vehicle dealers headquartered here in Croatia. As such, this year, the Fund will first announce a public call to which dealers will be able to apply, who will then register their points of sale and available vehicle models through the Fund's application. At their points of sale, people and legal entities will receive an offer for a vehicle and the dealers will apply for Croatian Government incentives for them.

Those who want incentives will still have to be quick off the mark, meaning they'll need to prepare before the announcement of the public call, which means they'll have to fully study the offer of vehicles for which they can apply for an incentive and which are offered on the Croatian market, and there are more and more of them as time goes on.

The procedure after a successful incentive reservation is, therefore, just like it was last year. The buyer will be obliged to pay a minimum advance of 7 percent of the requested funds to the Fund, for example, if an incentive of 70,000 kuna is requested, the trader will have to be paid 4,900 kuna. The deadline for delivery and use of Croatian Government incentives will be nine months from the approval of co-financing.

By far the most sought-after co-financed vehicles last year were electric cars, for which 70,000 kuna will be available this year as well. For example, last year the funds were reserved for 1943 vehicles, of which 1785 were electric, 157 were plug-in hybrids and one was a natural gas vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (plug-in rechargeable hybrids) it will still be possible to get 40,000 kuna in incentives, and for electric vehicles of the L1-L7 category (mopeds, motorcycles, light quadricycles) 20,000 kuna will be available.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Government Approves Telascica Nature Park Substation Construction

May the 14th, 2022 - The government has approved the construction of a substation located within the boundaries of the much loved and truly stunning Telascica Nature Park.

As Morski writes, the Croatian Government has given the green light to the sale of the plot on which HEP will build a substation at Telascica Nature Park. This will replace the hitherto rather non-ecological way of obtaining electricity from three oil generators with a more acceptable and sustainable solution for all, including the environment.

Last year, consent was given for the sale of a 79-square-metre plot to HEP for 11,850 kuna. As the stipulation is that the consent for the alienation of property should be given by the Croatian Government alone, the decision was made at the session and was signed by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, as reported by

The importance of electrification of the gorgeous Telascica Nature Park is far reaching, both for the the park and its management itself and for about forty individual consumers who will be connected to the electricity network. The current need for electricity has been being provided for with three large oil generators that significantly pollute the surrounding environment and produce noise, which is incompatible with the basic function of preserving and protecting the environment in Telascica Nature Park.

Previous efforts to provide electricity in this area have not been realised due to the fact that no agreement was reached between HEP ​​and the owner of the plot, although most of the project documentation was prepared for the location and the project was actually completed back in December 2019.

The special significance and importance of electrification lies in the fact that the construction and commissioning of the Grpascak Visitor Centre, financed from the European Regional Development Fund and co-financed by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, will be completed soon.

The fact that the government has readily given the construction of the substation the green light proves its dedication to greener energy sources and promotion care for the environment as paramount.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

InvestEu Programme, Worth €372 Bn, Presented

ZAGREB, 5 May 2022 - The €372 billion InvestEU programme, providing the Croatian private and public sectors with opportunities for green and sustainable investments, innovation and new jobs, was presented on Thursday at a conference by the European Investment Bank and European Commission Representation in Croatia.

"InvestEU aims to provide more than €372 billion to public and private investors in the European economy in the period from 2021 to 2027. These investments will be enabled based on an EU guarantee of €26.2 billion, which will be used to support investments by InvestEU implementing partners such as the European Investment Bank (EIB)," it was said at the conference, organised by the EIB and European Commission (EC) Representation in Croatia in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

The InvestEU programme builds on the successful model of mobilising investments, introduced by the Investment Plan for Europe, or the Juncker Plan, and combines the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and 13 other EU financial instruments.

As a member of the EU, Croatia has an opportunity to accelerate its green and sustainable development based on long-term financing to be provided by InvestEU, primarily through investments in digital infrastructure, innovation, technology and skills, the EIB said in a press release.

This will empower citizens and EU economy with new generation technologies and accelerate the implementation of the EU Green Deal and "mobilise private investments for the EU's policy priorities such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition," the bank says.

The conference, held for representatives of state, public and private sectors, was addressed via video link also by Finance Minister Zdravko Marić.

The event discussed opportunities InvestEU provides and its priorities, components and available financing as well as consultancy in identifying and preparing projects, provided by the EIB Group as the lead implementing and advisory arm of the InvestEU programme.

InvestEU consists of three building blocks: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal.

EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwinska said the programme will provide a significant stimulus to investments in many critical areas of the economy throughout the EU.

The programme is a key element of what so far is the EU's largest package of measures that will boost recovery from the COVID pandemic and will help build a greener, more digital and more resilient European economy, Czerwinska said, adding that InvestEU will also help Europe meet new challenges, including those related to the war in Ukraine.

The EIB will be a vital component in implementing the programme, which will increase investments in clean energy, education, digitisation and urban infrastructure, she said, calling on Croatia's public and private sectors to learn how to absorb as much funding as possible from this programme in cooperation with the EIB.


For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

MPs Welcome Greater Use Of Green Energy And Hydrogen Strategy

ZAGREB, 24 March - Members of the Croatian Parliament on Thursday welcomed the proposal for a national hydrogen strategy until 2050, stressing the importance of economic development based on hydrogen, own energy production and increased electricity production from renewable sources.

Some opposition lawmakers warned of the commercial unprofitability of green hydrogen.

In recent years, Croatia has been making a great effort in decarbonising its energy sector and economy, its goal being to ensure that by 2030 at least 36.6 per cent of electricity consumption comes from renewable sources, said Ivo Milatić, state secretary at the Ministry of Economy.

A hydrogen-based economy is an important part of plans by EU member states towards a green energy transition, and the proposed strategy follows up on the EU hydrogen initiative, which Croatia signed in 2018, he said.

The proposal puts emphasis on renewable hydrogen, obtained by low-carbon emitting technologies. Some sectors of the Croatian economy have already expressed an interest in developing hydrogen technologies, which is why a government strategic document is needed to give direction to the development of hydrogen technologies, Milatić said.

Ljubica Maksimčuk of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was interested in whether Croatia was ready for the first phase of the strategy, from 2020 to 2024, which aims to ensure the production of one million tonnes of renewable hydrogen.

"Croatia is ready for this. Under the National Recovery Plan, we have undertaken to install 10 refuelling stations over the next three years and finance a certain number of electrolysers," Milatić said, adding that there was interest from hydrogen associations and private and public companies.

In response to a question put by Andreja Marić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Milatić said that 60 public transport buses in Zagreb would switch to hydrogen use and that a hydrogen refuelling station would be installed for that purpose.

Vesna Vučemilović (Sovereignists) wanted to know why the proposed strategy gave priority to transport over industry and to green hydrogen, which she said would have to be subsidised because it was commercially unprofitable.

Milatić said that Croatia was rich in renewable energy sources and that it would not be wise to go any other way than green hydrogen. He, however, noted that they were aware that ample government subsidies would be necessary as long as this technology did not become cheaper.

Responding to a question from independent MP Hrvoje Zekanović about the price of a kilogram of hydrogen, Milatić said that its price currently ranged between 12 and 15 euro and that a car with six kilos of hydrogen in the tank can drive between 500 and 600 kilometres.

Marin Miletić (Bridge) said that the EU planned to invest about €500 billion in renewable energy sources by 2050 and Croatia more than HRK 70 billion (€9.3bn), which is equivalent to the cost of 17 Pelješac bridges. He asked Milatić where Croatia would get that money from.

Milatić said that conventional renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun, would require minimum or no state subsidies in the near future. "Our focus will be on small solar cells on houses and on new technologies, and among new technologies, hydrogen will dominate financially and in any other respect."


Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Pula Goes Green: Solar Panels to Be Installed on Public Buildings

March 9th, 2022 - The City of Pula plans to harness solar energy in order to make significant savings on electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The City of Pula is embracing green energy with its latest initiative that will see the roofs of public buildings fitted with solar panels.

Earlier this week, Pula Mayor Filip Zoričić met with representatives of the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA). The City announced that an agreement was reached with the REGEA, who will provide technical support in the preparation of documentation for the solar project.

The City of Pula will be provided with detailed technical data required to implement roof solarization, along with insight into the overall potential of public buildings for the installation of photovoltaic panels, and the application of solar energy with the goal of making significant savings on electricity bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Roof solarization is part of the PVMAX project funded by the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA), a technical assistance programme managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The project will be implemented by the REGEA, and its total value is €1.98 million, intended for the preparation of technical documentation.

Monday, 7 February 2022

Proposal for New Hydrogen Strategy Until 2050 Presented

7 February 2022 - The main aim of the new 2021-2050 hydrogen strategy is to stimulate the production and use of hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, Vjekosalv Jukić from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said on Monday, presenting a proposal of the strategy.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) reported that the proposed strategy has been put to public consultation which will last until 27 February.

"Production is based on low-carbon hydrogen, emphasis is on developing new technologies, that is water electrolysis, and there is also pyrolysis or waste gasification. We will endeavour to make production sites also consumption sites in order to relieve the energy system. That will help in the short term also with regard to storage and in the long term with repurposing existing infrastructure for storage and transport, primarily existing gas pipelines but also the construction of new ones," explained Jukić.

On the other hand, to intensify hydrogen use in transport, it is important to obtain hydrogen-powered vehicles as well as build fueling stations, hence the strategy focuses on investing in electrolyzers and fueling stations.

Essential for that is the education of experts, the development and commercialisation of new technologies, and a potential regional hydrogen centre conceived as the central point for connecting science and the economy, Jukić said.

The domestic economy is faced with a long, expensive and complicated process of energy transition and hydrogen should be an important component of it because, as a fuel of the future and a renewable, it is also a solution for decarbonising industrial processes and the economic sector.

The Director of the Industry and Sustainable Development Sector at HGK, Marija Šćulac Domac, said that hydrogen will be very important for many sectors in maintaining competitiveness. She added that there are some 200-odd projects in the world developing and applying hydrogen technology, with 55% of that being in the EU.

"With its hydrogen strategy, Croatia should enter that prestige club of countries developing their own technologies and contributing more concretely to achieving the EU's green objectives," said Šćulac Domac.

Croatia will have significant funds at its disposal for energy transition from various programmes, both national and European, she added.

The head of the Energy Administration in the Economy Ministry, Kristina Čelić, said that the strategy is particularly important for the transport sector, sea, rail and road, and that it provides a great opportunity to protect the Adriatic from fossil fuels.

She underscored that the objective is for 40% of energy consumption by 2030 to be from renewable sources.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Croatia Can Be Green Energy Transition Leader, Conference Hears

ZAGREB, 29 June, 2021 - Croatia can be a green energy transition leader, Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry state secretary Ivo Milatić said on Tuesday at a conference on  Croatia's energy future organised by Lider weekly.

He said Croatia was preparing legislation and all the prerequisites for "as good and successful an energy transition as possible."

Milatić said Croatia had a 2030 energy strategy with an outlook on 2050, a national climate energy plan and amended laws on energy efficiency and biofuels, and that it was in the process of amending laws on renewables and the electricity market.

The latter amendments, he said, will significantly help with green transition as it will allow market development. "There will be no more random development projects without any physical plans."

Milatić said the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisages HRK 5 billion for energy, of which three billion to digitalise and enhance the electricity network.

"That will help to achieve the main goals, as we committed to installing in Croatia 1,500 new megawatts by the end of 2024. Croatia's plan is to install 2,500 megawatts by 2030."

Milatić said the National Recovery and Resilience Plan also envisaged large sums for heating and energy efficiency in industry.

He said HRK 1 billion was envisaged for a Sisak biorefinery project, a facility that would produce major quantities of fuel, which could make Croatia influential in this part of Europe as well as develop agriculture.

"Our goal is for Croatia not to import 40% of energy and in order to achieve that, we must have many renewable energy source capacities. Croatia can be a green energy transition leader, but it's up to us."

Neven Duić of the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture said Croatia's energy transition policy had changed for the better.

"The European transition hurricane that started brings big changes: 55% less greenhouse gasses by 2030, climate neutrality by 2050, we are heading towards 38 to 40% renewable energy sources by 2030, and the EU's green recovery plan brings money which can be used to push new technologies," he said.

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

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Could Green Energy on Croatian Islands Become EU Funds Magnet?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 12th of August, 2020, when it comes to dealing with the particular needs of people living on Croatian islands, as well as the development of island economies, things can become very challenging. Apart from the obvious issue being the continual connection to the mainland, the biggest problem of all those living in Croatian islands is the infrastructure, and especially the flow of electricity.

That is why in recent decades, great efforts have been made across Europe to make the bloc's islands as energy-efficient as possible through the development of green energy.

With the entry into the EU, this has also been being carried out across Croatia's many inhabited islands. As such, the continued development of renewable energy sources on Croatian islands has gained new momentum, which is contributed by the fact that Croatian MEP Tonino Picula is the president of the parliamentary Intergroup for Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas in his second term. He boasted that his lobbying had secured around four million euros in the new EU budget for the energy transition of Croatian islands.

"We've successfully pulled the islands out of political anonymity in Europe and imposed them as the engine of energy transition. The islanders are the most heavily called upon to manage the development of their islands and that is why I'm in favour of a long-term and lasting EU island strategy as the main instrument of support to the islanders,'' Picula pointed out.

The “The Future of the Energy Transition of the Island of Hvar” conference was recently held on the island of Hvar, when the strategic partnership between the Island Movement (Pokret otoka) and the Renewable Energy Sources Association of Croatia (OIEH) should be signed. This is to make the best possible use of money from EU funds and their Green Plan project. As Maja Pokrovac, Director of OIEH, explained, the EU has offered a plan for recovery from the coronavirus pandemic worth a massive 750 billion euros, of which at least 30 percent must be spent on climate protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

"EU member states must prepare their recovery plans within their national programmes, which should include investment and reform priorities, and submit them by April 2021. In its plan, Croatia should focus on activities that can start the economy up again, on a sustainable basis, and have it be closer to carbon neutrality,'' she said, adding that the energy transition of Croatian islands is one such activity.

"With this agreement with Hvar, we want to ensure the timely information and preparation of projects ready for financing in the areas of Croatian islands and to advocate for the well-being of island communities and their participation within these development projects. Therefore, we'll cooperate across all areas of common interest, including the development of RES on the islands, and especially on energy project development activities, the preparation of project studies, community involvement, strategic planning and consulting the Island Movement in the field of energy, information and education. The transition to clean energy sources can help Croatian islands become self-sufficient and open new employment opportunities for people living on them,'' said Pokrovac.

However, she added that the entire population, representatives of local and regional self-governments and entrepreneurs, civic initiatives and cooperatives, educational institutions must all be involved in the implementation process.

As many as ten Croatian islands: Cres, Ilovik, Lošinj, Male and Velike Srakane, Susak, Unije, Brac, Hvar and Korcula are currently implementing projects to prepare for the transition to clean energy.

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