Saturday, 10 September 2022

Krizevci Doubles Number of Households Using Solar Panels

September the 10th, 2022 - Krizevci in the continental part of Croatia is doing excellently when it comes to relying on solar power and becoming more and more green in the energy sense, with the number of Krizevci households using solar power doubling.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, following a recently announced public call/invitation, the mayor of Krizevci, Mario Rajn, signed contracts with an impressive 39 Krizevci residents on the co-financing of the construction of solar power plants on the roofs of their houses.

This is the third year in a row that the co-financing programme for the construction of solar power panels has been implemented, and the number of users compared to 2021 has tripled.

"The people themselves are the backbone of the energy transition. We were the first to introduce this equipment co-financing programme, we were the first to co-finance a public photovoltaic power plant, and we were the first to open the Energy and Climate Office. I'd like to invite the others to use the funds from the call for the creation of project-technical documentation and to be ready next year when the tender opens," said Rajn.

Satisfaction with the increased number of users in Krizevci and beyond was expressed by expert associate Ivana Dubravec on behalf of the energy cooperative KLIK and the Energy and Climate Office, and she had to say the following:

"This year, we prepared as many as 48 applications for project documentation and 35 applications for the construction of solar power panels. It can be seen that our work is recognised within the city of Krizevci and beyond. I'd like to invite you to spread the positive word so that even more people will be able to receive help and that in 2023 we will build even more projects and power plants.''

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

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Uswitch: Zagreb Fifth Worst in Amount of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

August the 3rd, 2022 - The City of Zagreb is the fifth worst in Europe in terms of the amount of available electric vehicle charging stations according to Uswitch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the constant rise in fuel prices led 70 percent of Europeans to choose an electric vehicle as their first choice when buying their next new vehicle, according to research by Uswitch, a platform for comparing energy prices.

Additional research also determined the top list of European metropolises that invest the most in the network of charging stations for electric vehicles they have available to road users, and those that are significantly behind in this segment. The Croatian capital of Zagreb is one of those cities lagging behind quite a lot.

Unfortunately, the City of Zagreb has a mere 43 charging stations available in total for electric vehicle owners according to Uswitch, which is still more than the nearby Slovenian capital of Ljubljana (41) and Vilnius (21) and Sofia, Nicosia and Riga, all of which have a mere 15 charging stations each.

The situation is actually worse when this set of data is put into the context of the spatial size of the city itself, meaning that the Croatian capital city of Zagreb has just 0.07 charging stations for electric vehicles per square kilometre. Still, Zagreb isn't the absolute worst on the list, with the Bulgarian capital of Sofia having just 0.01 per square metre, while the Greek capital of Athens is slightly better than Zagreb with 0.10 charging stations for every kilometre of space.

The capital of neighbouring Hungary, (Budapest) for example, already has 452 stations for electric cars, which is ten times more than Zagreb can boast of. With three million inhabitants, Budapest is, of course, much larger than the Croatian capital city, but the fact that for every 100,000 inhabitants there are 80 percent more charging stations than the Croatian metropolis is quite worrying indeed.

Uswitch has determined that the Norwegian capital city of Oslo (2,481) has advanced the farthest in this segment of environmental awareness, and Oslo's residents have access to almost five and a half charging stations per square kilometre in that city, of which the British capital city of London has the most in total (4,991).

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

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Zagreb Mayor: City Administration Wants to Cooperate with Mainz in Green Transition

ZAGREB, 27 July 2022 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević on Wednesday held talks with a delegation of the German city of Mainz, led by Mayor Michael Ebling, focusing on cities' adaptation to extreme climate conditions and the development of new renewable energy sources.

The German delegation, which also included business people, visited Zagreb on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the two cities' agreement on cooperation.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Tomašević said that the green transition was one of the biggest challenges in all European cities in the context of climate change and extreme temperatures this summer.

Apart from the green and energy transition, the meeting between the delegations of Zagreb and Mainz also focused on the so-called models of civic energy.

"This is about encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy owned by citizens. Such a model exists in Mainz, where there are foundations and funds facilitating energy transition by citizens. This is politically important to us and we would like to see it also in Zagreb," the Zagreb mayor said.

Tomašević and Ebling discussed economic and cultural cooperation, IT sector development, modernization of the public transportation system and Zagreb's post-earthquake reconstruction.

Mainz is ready to help Zagreb with the post-earthquake reconstruction and is willing to provide a modest contribution to its reconstruction as a token of solidarity, Ebling said.

He noted that Mainz, too, was experiencing the consequences of climate change and heat waves, as evidenced by the fact that the river passing through the city has almost dried up.

Before leaving Zagreb on Thursday, the German delegation will also visit Zagreb's ZICER enterprise centre at the Zagreb Trade Fair Centre.

Ebling said the meeting discussed possibilities of investment in startup businesses.

Zagreb City Assembly chair Joško Klisović said there was a lot of political will the two sides wanted to transform into concrete projects to promote their cooperation. 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Funds For Lending By HAMAG-BICRO To Be Ensured Under NRRP

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday adopted schemes under which the HAMAG-BiICRO agency will approve loans for the green and digital transition from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The scheme called "investment loans from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan" refers to giving the green light for loans provided by the HAMAG-BICRO agency for small and medium-sized enterprises for the green and digital transition, Economy Minister Davor Filipović informed the government on Thursday.

The upper limit of a loan under this scheme is €100,000 at an interest rate of 0.8%, a grace period of up to 12 months and a maximum repayment period of 10 years.

The government also adopted a programme for subsidising the interest rate with funds from the NRRP.

This scheme aims to boost the resilience and competitiveness of SMEs, and the interest rate could be subsidised up to 50%.

Loans with at least five years of repayment are entitled to this facility.

The two schemes go into effect on the day of their adoption and are in place until the absorption of all the available funds for this purpose or until 30 June 2026 at the latest.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković described these schemes as a strong encouragement to the Croatian economy.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

First Electric Vehicle Charger In Lamppost Installed In Croatia

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The first electric vehicle charger in a lamppost has been installed in the Zagreb suburb of Buzin, and trial chargers will be installed in 200 lampposts in several cities next year as part of a pilot project, while more than 100,000 will be installed across Croatia in the next decade.

This is part of a project aimed at expanding the electric vehicle infrastructure launched by the Strujni krug e-mobility association.

Taking part in the pilot project are Zagreb, Velika Gorica and Osijek.

The Smart Energy company, which is part of the M SAN group, designed the first 3.5 kW charging station. Since it is still being tested, its use is possible, free of charge, via the PlugSurfing app. Although this is the first prototype that can be used this way, three or four other operators are expected to install their trial chargers in lampposts in the weeks ahead.

There is a considerable number of charging stations in Croatia and the number of electric vehicles is increasing by the day, which calls for increasing the number of chargers.

A Strujni krug survey shows that 60% of electric vehicle owners charge them at home, in their garages or backyards, but people who live in flats, notably in city centres, cannot do it without the adequate parking spaces.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Conference Held on Untapped Slavonian Potential, Green/Digital Transition

June the 11th, 2022 - A recently held conference discussed untapped Slavonian potential, looking more deeply into this wrongly overlooked part of the country and exploring what the green and digital transition(s) could mean for it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Agency for Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Antunovac held a conference on untapped Slavonian potential, organised by the International Network of Business Women and the Croatian Association of Employers of the Osijek Regional Office.

"This is a fantastic topic for Slavonia, but also for Croatia in general, because a lot of funds will be available. Digitalisation and the green transition is something that awaits us in the future and without which we can't move forward. Neither big nor small enterprises can turn a blind eye to this, because without it they won't be competitive and that's something they'll simply have to introduce,'' said Ivana Radic, President of the International Business Women's Network.

Milan Peterka, head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, added that in addition to the tenders from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, for digitalisation and the green transition, it will be possible to withdraw funds from the European Union's multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, and as much as 7 billion kuna will be available.

The conference focused on two main topics: the green transition and digitalisation, as these are increasingly current topics that the European Commission has also emphasised in the new budget period. Here in Croatia, only 15% of business entities use green technology and we're still very much lagging behind in terms of the degree of digitalisation. Croatian companies are insufficiently prepared and insufficiently informed.

“The green transition is a strategic decision of every company and it's a process that requires a lot of financial resources, depending on the industry in question. If we talk, for example, about the chemical industry, those funds can be very significant,'' explained Mirjana Samardzic Novoselec.

She also referred to the recent research conducted by Apsolon related to digitalisation, in which Croatian companies continue to make insufficient use of digital technologies. "The coronavirus pandemic has pushed some processes forward, but this still isn't enough,'' he said.

However, there are some good examples of digitalisation and the green transition among businesses in Croatia. Blazenka Cisko Anic, the director of the Saponia Institute d.d., also spoke at the conference, at which she announced that in the coming period, Saponia plans to invest 20 million kuna in increasing its energy efficiency by using green energy through the installation of solar panels and the energy renovation of six production facilities and the company's headquarters.

"Saponia has long since recognised the need for a green transition and for products that are environmentally friendly. Within Saponia, great care is taken of the raw materials that are purchased, the production process and standards,'' said Cisko Anic.

On behalf of the Olimpias Group, their Wasatex project was presented, which enables water savings in the fabric production process, where 70 percent of the water is reused in the production process. The investment is worth a massive 1.2 million euros, half of which was obtained from EU funds, and the return on investment is two years.

Zvonko Popovic, the director of Kanaan, said that part of their planned activities when it comes to the green transition has already been implemented by Kanaan, and the next step is robotisation.

"We've done perhaps the most in agriculture. We bought software that now makes it much easier to control the situation out in the fields. The new equipment we bought consumes a lot less resources, both in the human and energy senses. We've invested almost 10 million euros in robotics, which may not be the most popular thing, and our goal in the next two years is to robotise all possible drives. The reason is that there isn't enough manpower, and labour is becoming more expensive and the quality is declining. I must say that the only thing that pays off for the future is the purchase of state-of-the-art technology and to have adequate people who will follow it,'' stated Popovic.

PlantOn CEO Mario Salai explained how their company helps farmers on the one hand and customers on the other because it allows them to nurture their remote garden through the app.

“Anyone can enter our system, apply, get 40 square metres of their plot and process what the customer wants. It may be surprising that most of the current users are family farms and companies that want to produce organic and healthy fruit and vegetables for themselves or their employees,'' concluded Salai.

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

Monday, 25 April 2022

Medjimurje Company Sobocan Invests 4.5 Million Kuna in Own Solar Energy

April the 25th, 2022 - The Medjimurje company Sobocan has invested a massive 4.5 million kuna into its very own solar energy power plant as more and more companies begin turning towards greener paths for their energy sources.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, the very well known Medjimurje company Sobocan, a manufacturer of furniture and equipment from Mursko Sredisce, officially launched its very own solar power plant on Friday night. The investment in the plant stands at a huge 4.5 million kuna, of which 2.2 million kuna was co-financed with European Union (EU) money, and the rest financed with the company's own capital.

As many as 2,400 photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof of their production hall, which will produce 900 kilowatt hours of power, thanks to which the Medjimurje company Sobocan will be able to cover almost 70 percent of its electricity needs from its own production in the future. Sobocan will save at least 1.5 million kuna a year on electricity bills (if we're measuring them at the current electricity prices).

"By putting the solar power plant into operation, we're completing the cycle of green transition of our business, which we started back in 2016 with the construction of a wood waste incineration plant. I can proudly say that the Medjimurje company Sobocan is one of the leaders and best examples in the implementation of solutions based on renewable energy sources,'' said the owner and founder of the company, Franjo Sobocan.

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric said that the Medjimurje company Sobocan clearly recognised the direction in which it should develop its business in accordance with the green transition.

"Sobocan, as a competitive company that exports almost 70 percent of its production and provides its employees with above-average Croatian industry income, can be an example to the entire industrial complex across the rest of Croatia," said the minister of this praiseworthy and environmentally friendly investment.

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

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