Saturday, 23 April 2022

Sobočan Company's Solar Power Plant Put Into Operation

ZAGREB, 23 April 2022 - Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić formally opened a solar power plant in Mursko Središće on Friday, saying that the Sobočan company has put this northern town on the European map of positive production trends. 

The project cost HRK 4 million (€533,000), of which 70 per cent was provided by the European Union. Thanks to the solar power plant, as much as 70 per cent of the needs of the Sobočan company for its production processes will be met using renewable energy.

Over the last 20 years, Sobočan has evolved from a small family firm into one of the leading European manufacturers of furniture and equipment for world renowned brands, its founder, Franjo Sobočan, said.

He said that the company had begun its green transition in 2016 by building a wood-waste burning plant, and that now it is one of the leaders in applying solutions based on renewable energy sources.

Ćorić said that with its competitiveness and the fact that it exports about 70 per cent of its production, Sobočan can be an example to the entire industrial sector in Croatia. He said that the company has shown how to cope with competition on the global market and become a success story.

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

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Electricity Generated From Wind and Sun Nets Croatia €116 Million, says Večernji List

ZAGREB, 6 April 2022 - The state budget earned HRK 870 million from generating electricity from wind and the sun in 2021, when 3.5 TWh of power was generated from renewable energy sources (RES) under the  support scheme of the Croatian Energy Market Operator (HROTE),  the Večernji List reported on Wednesday.

HROTE,  whose main task is to encourage and provide subsidies for the production of electricity from renewable sources and cogeneration, managed to cover its loss of HRK 370 million from 2020 and to earn an additional 500 million kuna, the daily newspaper reported today.

The loss in 2020 was due to a drop in electricity prices during the COVID pandemic. However, electricity prices have since skyrocketed, which has boosting earnings of the operator. As a result, it wrapped up the first quarter of 2022 in the black, with HRK 500 million on its accounts.

In 2021, HROTE paid HRK 3.3 billion in incentives.

The operator's director Boris Abramović was quoted by the daily as saying that the cost of the electricity from €30 per MWHs at the beginning of this year jumped to over €60 per MWh.

In 2021, a total of 3.5 TWH of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources as part of the production subsidised by the HROTE sheme.

This amounted to 35% of the total electricity generation in Croatia in 2021.

Broken down by the type of renewables, more than a half was generated from wind farms (52%), 17% of electricity generated from HROTE-supported RES generation came from biomass power plants, 16% from cogeneration plants and 10% from biogas plants.

Last year, solar power plants had a 2% share in the total electricity production covered by HROTE support scheme, according to the VL article.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more on Croatian companies, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Good Energy Tour to Promote Solar Energy in Croatian Cities

October 13, 2021 - Solar energy in Croatian cities will be promoted thanks to the Good Energy tour, held for the second time in October and November this year. 

The Green Energy Cooperative (ZEZ) announces that, in cooperation with the European initiative Covenant of Mayors, the Association of Cities, and the Island Movement, it will conduct a Good Energy tour for the second time in October and November to promote solar energy in Croatian cities, reports Jutarnji List.

The first edition of the tour was held in autumn 2020 when the cooperative visited 11 Croatian cities in continental Croatia and Istria, and this year will include 12 new cities in northern and central Croatia (Čakovec, Ludbreg, Prelog, Zaprešić, Ivanić-Grad), Slavonia (Slavonski Brod, Pleternica, Slatina) and the coast and islands (Zadar, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Hvar).

"With 0.5 percent of electricity obtained from the sun, Croatia is at the bottom of the European Union in terms of using its solar potential. The Good Energy Tour is one of the initiatives we want to encourage its greater use. That is why we gave priority in choosing the host cities of this year's edition to cities that have stood out in their application for our public call for their commitment and readiness to invest further in solar energy, especially in the context of achieving the goals of the European Green Plan."

The cost of installing a home solar power plant, installation conditions, necessary documentation, opportunities for co-financing, association with fellow citizens to exchange energy, as stated in the notice, are just some of the valuable information that citizens will have the opportunity to learn first hand at free training on solar energy in the host cities of the Good Energy tour.

"The use of solar energy is no longer a matter of the distant future. Home solar power plants are affordable and usable in every part of Croatia, and we want to help citizens realize them in a way that will be maximally profitable for them," said the Green Energy Cooperative.

They also state that the campaign is locally focused to bring the opportunities related to the use of solar energy closer to as many citizens as possible through direct communication and encourage understanding of solar energy as a local resource that can be a carrier of Croatian cities. In addition to training on the installation of domestic solar power plants, the Green Energy Cooperative will support 12 host cities in the development and investment in solar energy projects through advisory activities as part of the tour.

They invite all citizens interested in participating in the free education to pre-register via the application form. The first cities that ZEZ will visit as part of the tour are Čakovec on October 19, Ludbreg on October 21, and Prelog on October 26, and detailed information on training in each city and tour schedule can be found on the website of the Green Energy Cooperative

The Croatian Parliament passed the Electricity Market Act on 1 October, an essential law in the green transition that transposes all the provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on standard rules for the internal market in electricity and amending Directive 2012/27 / EU (OJ L 158, 14.6.2019).

Adopting the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration, which has passed the first reading, is also expected and is adopted following Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on access to energy from renewable sources. The proposal for this law should be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia at the end of October 2021, and its entry into force is expected by the end of November 2021.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, 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.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Google Data Centre California Covered by 120,000 Varazdin Solar Panels

January 16, 2021 – Just as the white stone of Croatia was once exported globally to help build some of our most iconic buildings, Varazdin solar panels will be used atop the domes of one of the contemporary world's biggest businesses - the Google Data Centre in California

From the statues of Ivan Meštrović to the white stone of Dalmatian mines (like the famous one that still works on the island of Brac), Croatia has a long history of exports within the fields of aesthetics and architecture. A whole new eco-friendly tag is now being added to that reputation as one Croatian company prepares to send 120,000 Varazdin solar panels to cover Google's Data Centre in California. The purchase is part of the company's drive towards relying on carbon-free energy solutions.

The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will be provided by Croatian company Solvis, who have held a contract with the California-based global search engine for quite some time. The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will cover newly constructed domes at their Data Collection Centre in California, just a short distance from the company's global headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The contract for the 120,000 Varazdin solar panels and continuing co-operation with Solvis is, according to a recent article in Croatia's Jutarnji List, worth in excess of 10 million Euros.

Search engine Google is currently the most popular of its kind. Although it is based in California in the United States of America, where the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin will be situated, it has properties all over the world. The purchase of the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin is part of a drive for Google to equip all its buildings in the world with solar panels. Therefore, if the business between Google and the Varazdin company is successful, it could lead to more orders and an extended collaboration with the northern Croatia company.

Friday, 11 September 2020

HEP Puts into Operation Largest Solar Power Plant in Croatia

ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 - The HEP power company, on the southern island of Vis on Friday, put into operation the largest solar power plant in Croatia, worth HRK 31 million, 3.5 MW in power and expected to produce five million kWh of electricity a year, enough for 1,600 households.

With this first large solar power plant on a Croatian island, Vis has its own source of renewable energy and greater security of electricity supply, notably during summer when consumption is higher, it was said at the inauguration.

SE Vis is the first of seven solar power plants HEP will put into operation this year as part of an HRK 750 million cycle of building such plants from 2019 to 2023.

HEP CEO France Barbaric said the company expected to realize over HRK 4 billion in investment projects this year, a record amount, "notably projects with a large domestic component with which we are strongly contributing to the development and stability of the Croatian economy. Our focus is on projects which will improve the quality of life on the islands."

The inauguration of the largest solar power plant in Croatia is the beginning of what will happen in the next ten years, said Ivo Milatic, state secretary at the Economy Ministry.

He recalled that in 2017 the government had embarked on a new energy policy focusing on investment in green energy. "This power plant is the best example of such investment and, on behalf of the government, I congratulate HEP and Koncar on the realization of this valuable investment for Croatia's energy and economy."

Koncar is the company that built SE Vis.

HEP said a 1 MW, 1.44 MWh battery would be installed by SE Vis, the first of this size in Croatia, to balance the power supply system and keep the grid on Vis island stable.

HEP is investing about HRK 1 million in the improvement of the island's power infrastructure and next year it will invest almost HRK 30 million in numerous projects.

"SE Vis, together with the other solar power plant projects under construction, such as SE Vrlika, and those under development, such as the Bogomolje plant on Hvar island and others, will keep Split-Dalmatia County the leader in renewables in Croatia," said county head Blazenko Boban.

HEP announced that it would build additional 1,500 MW production capacities by 2030, nearly half of which would be wind parks and solar power plants, which matches the power of the Krsko Nuclear Plant.

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Croatian Electric HEP: New Solar Power Plants on Adriatic Coast

Renewable energy sources are increasingly being harnessed on the Croatian coast, where there is ample wind and sun. In addition to wind power plants, which are multiplying every year, the construction of solar power plants is also on the rise.

There is one plant in Istria, which became operational in 2018, and three more will produce electricity in early 2020: on the islands of Cres and Vis and near Vrlika according to Morski on November 26, 2019. With investments of HRK 80 million, Croatian Electric Company (HEP) will add four new power plants to their network with a total capacity of 11.6 megawatts (MW). In the long term, they plan to complete solar power projects with a total power of 350 MW by the end of 2030.

The Kaštelir solar power plant has a capacity of 1 MW and an expected annual production of about 1.5 million kWh, which will meet the electricity needs of about 500 households. The power plant is equipped with solar panels manufactured by the Solvis company in Varaždin. This plant has been operating since December 2018. It has a contract with HROTE (Croatian Energy Market Operator) as a preferred producer within their incentive system. Here is an aerial video of the plant.

The location permit for the Cres solar power plant was obtained in June 2018 and that plant is being developed by the County of Primorje-goranska. The location of SE Cres is about 2 kilometers north of the settlement Orlec on the island of Cres. The power plant is 6.5 MW with an expected production capacity of 8.5 million kWh per year, which will meet the electricity needs of about 2,500 households. The total value of the investment is HRK 41 million. Preparatory work on the site is underway and the power plant will begin operating in 2020. Here is a simulation of the Cres power plant.

The Vis solar power plant will be located on the hill of Grizova Glavica, near the village of Žena Glava, about 3.6 kilometers southwest of the town of Vis and about 4.8 kilometers east of Komiža. HEP purchased the project from Končar-Obnovlji izvori energie (Končar Renewable Energy). The expected annual output is 4.2 million kWh, which will meet the needs of about 1,400 households. This investment is valued at HRK 25.3 million. The power plant is under construction and is expected to be operational by February 2020.


The Vrlika Jug solar power plant represents the completion of the first phase of planned construction in the southern part of the Kosora working zone in the town of Vrlika. The power plant will have 2.1 MW of power and an estimated annual output of about 2.9 million kWh. Construction will be completed in the first half of 2020, according to HEP.

For more information on HEP solar plant projects, check out their website here.

To keep updated on renewable energy projects in Croatia, follow our Business page here and our Lifestyle page here.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Croatia: Electric Companies Offer Solar Panels for Homes

Electricity from the sun: an initial investment of HRK 35,000 (4700 EUR) will pay for itself within six to eight years! The benefits of investing in a solar power plant on the roof of a single-family home in Croatia are up to 75 percent lowered electricity costs and will protect the buyer from rising market prices.

As Dubravko Grakalić/GlasIstre reports on November 19, 2019; alternative energy is becoming less and less of an alternative, and more commonplace for our households and small businesses. Croatia's two largest electricity companies, HEP and RWE, have begun offering to install solar power plants on rooftops of single-family homes or businesses so that Croatian citizens and residents can generate electricity for their own needs. Interested households can easily arrange with their respective electric providers to become energy self-sufficient.

Simplified Procedure in Croatia

Due its geographical location and number of hours of sunshine a year, Croatia offers considerable potential for harnessing solar energy, experts say, and emphasize that less than one percent of all electricity is currently produced from photovoltaic systems. In early 2019, with the adoption of the Renewable Energy and High-Efficiency Cogeneration Act; self-supply electricity is now regulated by legal norms and the process has been greatly simplified. This legislation has paved the way for Croatian households to make the most of the sun's energy for their own benefit and makes the use of solar power plants more accessible to everyone.

- The simplified procedure for issuing energy approvals enables citizens to become self-suppliers by having their own solar power plant installed, which will meet most of their electricity needs; even up to 75 percent. This offer applies primarily to households and small businesses within the tourism, hospitality and trade sectors, says Zoran Miliša, CEO of RWE Energija Croatia.

Setting up a solar power plant does not pollute the environment. And it produces electricity from sunlight, a renewable energy source, which is a safe and low-risk investment, according to the companies offering solar power plant installation to customers.

The benefit of investing in solar power plant on the roof of a single-family-home is up to 75 percent lower electricity costs and will protect the buyer from rising market prices. The repayment period is estimated at six to eight years. RWE Energija's solar power plant installation offer includes a 25-year warranty and 10 years of insurance. Customers can expect to have their power plants installed within 90 days and the installation itself takes up to two business days.

The solar consultants at RWE Energija handle the necessary documentation and provide advice on choosing an optimal solution for every roof. And clearly there is an increase in the value of rental space for tourists who prefer environmentally friendly accommodations and are willing to pay a higher price for them, they say at RWE. They also offer solar calculator on their website so that prospective customers can see for themselves how much they will save with a solar power plant.


RWE Solar Calculator

After entering the real estate location and electricity consumption on an annual basis, the RWE solar calculator calculates the savings for every prospective customer. The calculator also accounts for the estimated power capacity of the power plant, the targeted amount of electricity, and the minimum roof area needed to install the solar panels. And it calculates the estimated repayment time. The minimum recommended annual consumption for the higher tariff is 2500 kWh. Then, the orientation of the roof, type of construction and the productivity of a solar power plant are assessed onsite. A perfect example is a family house on the coast with a north-south roof orientation. They calculate the available roof surface and consider that a power plant of 3 kWp requires about 18 square meters of roof. A 5 kWp power plant requires approximately 28 square meters of roof. The average power plant has a capacity of 3 kWp and is priced from HRK 35,000 (4700 EUR), which RWE Energija allows customers to repay over 36 installments.

Legalizing the power plant isn’t necessary since a mandatory part of the supporting documentation is proof that the building is legal (i.e. a building permit). As a solar power plant connects to a metered site, it is assumed that any building that has a meter is already legal, they explain at RWE energija. RWE will purchase any excess electricity produced by a solar power plant, but that is not currently a profitable venture for most home electricity producers.

HEP Upcoming Offer

HEP (Hrvatska elektroprivreda) will also offer two similar services to its customers very soon. HEP ESCO, a HEP company that offers various energy services, in collaboration with HEP Supply, will launch a HEPI Solar project designed for customers interested in erecting a solar power plant on their roof to cover their personal electricity consumption.

HEP will offer solar power plants from 4 to 10 kWp according to the ESCO model. This means that the company will independently finance the installation of such a power plant and maintain it for the ten years. The power plants will be paid for by the surplus electricity the plant produces, which will then be supplied to the grid. Signing three contracts is the only the legal prerequisite. The power plant will become the property of building owner after the contract period expires, HEP explained.

More information on the RWE solar plant offer and their solar calculator can be found here. Check out the HEP website regularly here for information on their upcoming solar plant offer.

For more information on clean energy in Croatia, follow our Lifestyle page.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Tomislav Ćorić Discusses Croatia's Aims in Renewable Energy in Bilbao

As Jasmina Trstenjak/Novac writes on the 2nd of April, 2019, the Republic of Croatia must, and is, turning more and more strongly towards using its own renewable energy sources, this was the main message of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy of Tomislav Ćorić at the Wind Europe 2019 Conference & Exhibition, held April from the 2nd to the 4th of this month in Bilbao, Spain.

It's been three and a half years since the historic COP 21 in Paris, which was one of the most important first steps towards a global low-carbon transition. The goal is to limit global warming below 2 degrees celsius, up to a maximum of 1.5 degrees celsius.

"Although we've done a lot since then, there are still many challenges ahead of us," Ćorić stated at the beginning of his speech on the subject, held at the largest and the most significant European event in the area of ​​wind energy use, in which the Republic of Croatia participated for the very first time.

The conference is focused on clean energy for Europe and brings together key European institutions and the European economy in the wind industry, 8000 participants, 300 exhibitors from various countries and as many as 155 speakers, including Croatia's Tomislav Ćorić, who presented those present with Croatian experiences and further plans.

He recalled the fact that Croatia realised that, for security reasons, it has to turn much more towards its own sources of energy, primarily relying on hydropower, the sun and the wind.

''We will intensively support the development of geothermal, biomass and biogas projects, addressing the needs of the industry, agriculture, and all those sectors that need the synergistic effect of electricity and heat production in a highly efficient manner,'' he continued by briefly outlining Croatia's energy plans, adding that a very important segment of energy transition is the increased share of electricity in transport, such as in heating and cooling systems.

Additional space can be seen in Croatian tourism, which accounts for almost 20 percent of the country's GDP, and has a disadvantageous relationship between the supply and demand of electricity in summer tourist months, so we can see the need for, and the opportunity to introduce a micro solar system. Tourism will profit even more, Tomislav Ćorić believes, with the electrification of transport, he therefore believes that it would be good to open the story of corporate contracts on the purchase of electricity in tourism.

Adding to the issue of tourism, he pointed out that Croatia is known for its more than 1,000 islands and that the island's dependence on energy imports could be reduced by the greater use of renewable sources and innovative energy systems, which could also lead to welcome cost reductions. Accordingly, the European Commission has started its initiative on the energy transition of European islands with a view to seeing them eventually become sustainable, and Croatia is aiming to continue this work during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of Europe, so as to continue to ensure the development of the energy transition strategy on Croatia's many islands.

''Among the 26 European islands are the Cres-Lošinj archipelago and Korčula, Brač and Hvar. In the first phase, Cres will make its energy transition plan this summer, and next year, Hvar, Brač and Korčula will do the same,'' the minister stated.

He also took the opportunity to announce Croatia's new energy strategy which is being brought in as early as this year, in which one of the key goals will be to increase the production of both wind and sun-sourced electricity.

''In line with this, we expect more renewable energy sources than in the past ten years. The goal is to have three times more wind and twenty times more solar energy in the next ten years. With the wind and other choices of renewable energy, we will achieve 32 percent of our total energy needs by 2030 and at least 56 percent by 2050, and the transition to renewable energy will reduce harmful emissions. We believe that further growth in green energy investment will also affect the country's development itself, as well as [provide] new employment and industry growth,'' concluded Minister Tomislav Ćorić at the Bilbao conference.

Maja Pokrovac, the director of the Croatia Renewable Energy Association, added that with the aim of achieving 32 percent of renewable sources, Croatia will contribute 36.4 percent according to the National Climate Action Plan and Action Plan sent to Brussels in late 2018, while the director of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, expressed his pleasant surprise with the fact that Croatia is the most optimistic country in JI Europe when it comes to the share of renewables in consumption.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics and lifestyle pages for much more. If it's the environment and ecology in Croatia you're interested in, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.


Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for Novac/Jutarnji

Saturday, 30 June 2018

HEP Investing 45 Million Kuna in Solar Power Plant on Cres

The Orlec Trinket will be built on the beautiful island of Cres, with work beginning in 2020.

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