Monday, 23 May 2022

Istrian Apartment Prices Skyrocket, New EU Plan to Cause Further Rises

May the 23rd, 2022 - Istrian apartment prices have shot up recently, and a new European Union (EU) plan regarding greener energy sources is set to contribute to even further price increases.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Istrian apartment prices have been climbing and climbing, and with the recent introduction of obligations to install solar panels for the production of electricity in all new residential buildings as part of an EU directive, they'll likely keep heading on an upward trajectory, writes Jutarnji list.

The European Commission (EC) recently announced the ''REPowerEU'' plan, which aims to quickly reduce the bloc's overall dependence on fossil fuels imported from Russia, against which there are harsh sanctions in place following their invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, and further work to encourage the green transition. As part of that move, among other things, the mandatory installation of solar panels on existing public and commercial buildings and all new residential buildings in early 2026 has been put into force.

"The cost of construction will certainly be higher for a new building, and relatively higher for existing ones," said the Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers (HKIG). The chamber also warned that the cost of investment and maintenance of each building should be looked at as a whole, and a cost analysis should be taken into account.

“If we look at the entire so-called life cycle of a building, then there will certainly be no increase in costs due to the installation of solar panels. This will reduce energy costs, which is a significant item when it comes to costs in the phase of using one building,'' the chamber noted.

As is well known, the price of Istrian apartments has been growing very significantly over recent years. Any slightly better position can hardly be bought for less than 2,000 euros per square metre, most often more. New construction, on the other hand, has now approached the price of 3,000 euros per square metre.

The cost of installing solar panels on these buildings ranges from 40 thousand to 70 thousand kuna.

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Medulin Solar Power Goal Given Spring in Step With 3.06 Million Kuna

May the 18th, 2022 - The Medulin solar power goal has been given a very welcome spring in its step in the form of a cash injection worth 3.06 million kuna in total.

One of the Republic of Croatia's (many) natural riches is the sheer amount of hours of unfiltered sunshine it gets on an annual basis, and one way in which Croatia could save an incredible amount of money, time and contribute in a very positive way to protecting the environment would be to continue to invest heavily in its solar power capacities. The Medulin solar power aim will certainly be launched thanks to this latest sum.

As Morski writes, based on the application of the Municipality of Medulin for the "Energy and Climate Change" programme, the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union (EU) Funds recently passed a decision on financing a project proposal entitled: "Increasing the capacity for solar energy production in public facilities of the Municipality of Medulin" in the amount of 3.06 million kuna. The Municipality of Medulin provided 287,889.00 kuna from its own funds for the project.

The project foresees the installation of seven photovoltaic power plants on the roofs of multiple buildings across Medulin, and each of the installed FNEs will be connected to the existing electricity network, with the aim of consuming most of the electricity produced at the facility and the eventual handover of "surplus" electricity which has also been produced back to the public electricity network, local portal Istra24 has learned.

The realisation of this praiseworthy project will enable the production of 0.234 MW from solar energy alone, resulting in savings and a better approach in regard to climate change and environmental protection. The newly installed capacities of the Municipality of Medulin for the use of energy from renewable sources will contribute to an increase in solar energy production by 330.42 MWh/year, while annual CO2 emissions will be reduced by as much as 52.41, according to a statement from the Municipality of Medulin.

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

Friday, 13 May 2022

Croatian Company Valamar Turning to Solar Power for Hotels

May the 13th, 2022 - The Croatian company Valamar, which is huge and very well known in the tourism sector, is turning more and more towards solar power to provide electricity to its hotels by the year 2025.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the development of tourism in Croatia must be sustainable and be guided by the principles of the benefit of everyone and the environment, not pure profitability. This and more could be heard at the presentation of the cooperation between the Croatian company Valamar and E.ON recently in Porec.

It was emphasised that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources are one of the most important focuses of this principle.

SaIvana Budin Arhanic, a member of Valamar's Management Board, explained that they have been investing in renewable energy sources for years now, and currently they produce about about six percent of their own electricity. Over the past four years, Valamar has invested a total of 400 million kuna in energy efficiency projects.

"The amount of total electricity produced from RES corresponds to consumption on the island of Sv. Nikola in Porec and the tourist resources located here are completely covered from that source. However, the Croatian company Valamar, as a corporation, exclusively buys green energy, which in turn allows us to maintain the highest environmental EU standards,'' said Budin Arhanic. Alen Benkovic, Valamar's senior vice president for technology, pointed out that the 2nd and 3rd phases of the RES development project in Valamar are already being prepared.

"The plan is that by the year 2025, 20 percent of our consumption will come from our own sources. It's clear that there are many administrative and technical obstacles, but the goal is ambitious and we really do hope we manage to achieve it. It's more and more about respecting the environment and about ecology, but also security of supply and the price itself,'' said Benkovic.

Vedran Belamaric, Director of Energy Solutions at E.ON Croatia, pointed out that the project with the large Croatian company Valamar launched 2.5 years ago was very logistically demanding.

"This is a very innovative business model that includes a kind of ESCO, or BOT (Build Operate Transfer) model, so that at first the power plant is ours, until the sale of energy pays off, and then becomes the property of Valamar. It's a technically very demanding project that includes 26 locations with 68 facilities, installed capacities of 3.5 MW, which means about 5 GWh of electricity produced per year,'' explained Belamaric.

He added that they have significant problems, both in Istria and in the rest of Croatia, with bureaucracy and there are a number of solar power plants that have been built, but due to "paperwork" still can not be put into operation. Some of them have been waiting to be put into full function for more than a year now. The situation is almost the same with investments made by companies as with power plants installed by people themselves.

E.ON has implemented or is implementing about 50 projects across the Republic of Croatia for business users with a total installed capacity of 40 MW solar power plants, and they also have a large number of households in their impressive portfolio. Andreas Rorig, President of the Management Board of E.ON Croatia, pointed out at the aforementioned recent event in Porec that solar energy has the most significant growth potential in the coming years in Croatia.

"Istria and Dalmatia have 40 percent more insolation compared to, for example, Munich, creating the same percentage of earlier return on investment. By installing home solar power plants, we've helped our customers achieve energy efficiency and independence, and we're continuing to develop smart and diverse energy solutions tailored to the needs of modern households. Together with our business customers such as Valamar Riviera, Pliva, Zito Group, Bauhaus, Gavrilovic, Atlantic and other industry leaders and sustainability leaders, we're working hard in order to realise the solar potential of the Croatian market and shape that market together.

Throughout 2022, we're going to invest at least 12.5 million euros through BOT models with energy purchase agreements (PPAs) with our customers. In addition, we expect more than 25 million euros to invest in other solar projects that we're currently working on,'' concluded Rorig.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Žito Group, E.ON Sign Contract for Construction of Solar Power Plant

ZAGREB, 6 May (2022) - Žito Group and E.ON Solar, a company that is part of the E.ON Croatia Group, have signed a contract for the construction of a solar power plant on the premises of the vegetable oil factory in Čepin, which is expected to help save 2.6 gigawatt hours of energy a year and should be put into operation in June.

The new solar power plant will be the eight solar power plant Žito Group operates as part of its energy and environmental strategy.

The seven previously built plants have a total capacity of 2.3 megawatts. The new plant will have a capacity of 2 megawatts and will be the biggest of the eight plants.

Žito Group accounts for 0.3% of the annual electricity consumption in Croatia.

Using organic waste from the group's farms, Žito Group's four biogas units produce 43 gigawatts of electricity a year, which exceeds the group's total consumption. The group expects its energy production to become twice as high as its consumption by the end of 2025, its officials have said, noting that this makes Žito Group one of the most environmentally responsible businesses in Croatia.

Žito Group is a leading agricultural and food group in Slavonia and employs more than 1,350 workers.

For more, check out our business 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.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Solar-Powered Catamarans Sail Through the Island of Mljet

February 13, 2022 - The iCat company is known for innovating in maritime navigation technology, seeking to connect the mainland with the islands in a fast, efficient and ecological way. This can already be seen on the island of Mljet, which now has three of its solar-powered catamarans.

Solar energy is the driving force behind the ships that Tomislav Uroda from Zagreb wants to make this type of transport more ecological, faster, and more comfortable, and his self-sustaining vessels have been succeeding on Mljet for several years, reports Index.hr.

Frustration at Tomislav Uroda's very rare and poor inter-island transport prompted him to try to work out a solution to this maritime problem in his own workshop. The idea that one larger ship sails several smaller ones a day, which will also be energy efficient and acceptable for Europe's future of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combating climate change, and investing in green technologies, has grown into a successful international story.

"We wanted a better, more luxurious alternative"

At that time, the young mechanical and shipbuilding engineer, a native of Zagreb with roots in the island of Murter, started his business venture ten years ago by founding iCat, and in the years that followed he stood by the leading innovators in the world. He saw an opportunity to conquer the market in solar and electric ships.

"From the beginning, we didn't want to invent a cheap product, but we wanted a better, more luxurious version of that shipping, and therefore not only in the passenger, economic part but also in the technical part - from accumulation, batteries to solar," says Uroda.

Connecting the island with the mainland, making shipping a faster and more comfortable way to travel, and overcoming the problem of fuel shortages on the island were key problems in the Mljet National Park, where the first three solar-powered catamarans operate. These three ships named babyCat, powered by solar panels on the roof of the ship, are the first such self-sustaining ships in the world. They develop a speed of at most 9.5 knots and receive 54 passengers. Excess solar energy is stored in the batteries on board.

The boat can be recharged

"The solar-powered catamarans also has coastal chargers, which means that it can be recharged from the coastal port. This replenishment is a good option, and ships on Mljet have been sailing for several years in the summer months and there was never a need for recharging because enough energy is obtained from solar power,” the 50-year-old said.

solar-powered-catamarans-3.jpg

The island of Mljet (Photo: Mario Romulić)

"We built another such catamaran, but it was just finished at the time of the general closure. Just as air and bus transport disappeared, so did ours. In the few months of this pandemic, there was no interest in our ships at all, but we have been receiving inquiries every day for some time", says Tomislav, who plans to market his products all over Europe, and then, when the conditions are created, all over the world.

In addition to the solarCat ship, as presented at Jarun, on the same production platform it is possible to build two other types of solar-powered catamarans - one slightly wider, which will have a hundred seats and the other with a double bow, or a ship that does not turn while driving but operates shorter distances.

"We realized that this job is not attractive"

''The workforce is also a big problem'', says Uroda.

"We dreamed of having our own workers in the production plant, but over time we realized that this job is not attractive and that people will come and go here. Croatia no longer has a workforce. We are aware of the situation, but our development team is constant.", stressed Uroda.

Greater use of the potential of solar energy is one of the main goals of the European Green Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030. Intensified use of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency are key factors in achieving this ambition.

Ambitions in Croatia need to be encouraged, and citizens need to be educated about the benefits of using solar energy, was the conclusion of a two-day conference "Days of the Sun" held at the end of October last year in Hvar. The solar sector is developing very slowly, although the price of such energy is lower than ever, it was said at the gathering.

For more information on the solar-powered catamarans by iCat, click here.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

HEP's Medjimurje Solar Power Plant to Become Croatia's Largest

February the 2nd, 2022 - The up and coming Medjimurje solar power plant is set to become the largest in all of the Republic of Croatia as HEP continues its investment cycle.

As Novac/Jutarnji writes, back in December 2021, the Kosora Jug solar power plant with a connection capacity of 2.1 MW began regular operation. This is the realisation of the first phase of the planned construction in the southern part of the Kosora Work Zone in the area of Vrlika. Almost 5,500 photovoltaic modules have been installed in the 2.6-hectare power plant, and the expected annual production of about 2.9 million kWh will be enough to meet the consumption of approximately one thousand households. HEP has invested around 11 million kuna in this power plant.

At the other end of Croatia, the construction of the largest solar power plant is starting. In January this year, HEP Proizvodnja and Koncar - Energy and Transport Engineering signed a contract for the design and construction of the Donja Dubrava Solar Power Plant, commonly referred to as the Medjimurje solar power plant. SE Donja Dubrava will be located on an area spanning around 17.6 hectares in the Municipality of Sveta Marija in Medjimurje County, next to the Dubrava Hydroelectric Power Plant.

The new Medjimurje solar power plant will have a maximum output power of 9.99 MW, or 12.35 MW of installed power, with the expected annual production of SE Donja Dubrava standing at around 14.8 GWh. Its production will avoid emissions of 167 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide during 30 years of operation.

The specificity of the location where the new Medjimurje solar power plant will be constructed is the fact that there is an existence of a significant amount of wood mass, with an approximate volume of 1,400 cubic metres. This wood mass will be converted into wood that will be used as fuel at the location of the BE-TO Sisak biomass cogeneration plant. The total value of the signed contract is almost 58 million kuna, and the deadline is eleven months.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Valamar and E.ON Launch Largest Solar Power Plant Project in Croatia

December 22, 2022 - The most ambitious solar power plant project in Croatia has been launched, implemented by Valamar and E.ON Solar, which operate within the E.ON Croatia Group.

The cooperation between E.ON and Valamar included the installation of solar power plants at 26 Valamar hotels and camps along the Adriatic coast, which covers 5 percent of Valamar's total electricity needs, reports HRTurizam.

Cooperation with Valamar is the first and largest project in Croatia under the ESCO financing model in which power plants are owned by E.ON's company Solnet, and all energy produced is intended for Valamar for its own consumption.

For many years now, Valamar has been investing significant funds in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which we will continue to work on intensively in the coming period, said Flavio Gregorović, director of the technical department at Valamar Riviera, adding that the move would increase their competitiveness and provide them with a new renewable source of electricity.

“The amount of electricity produced in the installed solar power plants is sufficient for the entire needs of one of our most successful resorts, Valamar Isabella Island Resort on the island of Sveti Nikola in Porec.

With this initiative, we are sending our guests an additional message about the importance we attach to sustainable development and socially responsible business, in which Valamar has invested more than 400 million kuna in the past five years," concludes Gregorović.

E.ON hired more than 60 experts of various profiles on the project, who realized the services of designing, installing, commissioning, and financing the project, which represents a significant step towards green and sustainable tourism. The use of renewable energy sources also contributes to the EU Green Plan for environmental protection and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, in which E.ON and Valamar are examples of good practice.

"This collaboration took place in unstable pandemic conditions, but we nevertheless showed that a strong partnership of two leading companies, each in its field, can bring added value both for our business and for guests who are increasingly aware of sustainable and green tourism.

Croatia has a significant solar energy potential which, if used properly, contributes to reducing operating costs, increasing profitability, and minimizing market risks of rising electricity prices. We are glad that Valamar recognized us as a reliable and professional partner and showed us the confidence to use the sun's energy for their benefit, but also for the benefit of Croatian sustainable tourism," said Vedran Belamarić, Director of E.ON Solara.

To read more about 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.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatian Company Podravka Building 12 Million Kuna Solar Power Plant

June the 3rd, 2021 - The Croatian company Podravka is busy with plans to construct a solar power plant on three of its factories, investing a massive 12 million kuna in this environmentally conscious project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, with the new project for the construction of a solar power plant with a capacity of 2.4 MW, with a total value of 11.7 million kuna, the Croatian company Podravka is joining the increasingly rapid global trend of using renewable energy sources, and all with the intention of intensifying this type of project in the future as well.

This praiseworthy move indicates this much loved company's intention to put the roofs of the remaining factories; Belupo and their logistics capacities, into the function of business savings in the foreseeable future. As a socially responsible company, Podravka clearly plans to further contribute to the wider community by kickstarting a number of projects with environmental benefits.

These premises are already considering the necessary financial estimates for the next two phases in which this truly ambitious goal would be reached - 9.9 MW of RES power.

In the first phase, the RES will produce electricity for its own consumption for all three of the Croatian company Podravka's factories in the Danica Industrial Zone in Koprivnica: the Baby Food and Cream Spreads factory, the Soup and Vegeta Factory, and the Danica factory - which is primarily a sausage factory.

The expected return on this investment is currently three and a half years, while the construction of the "Podravka - Danica" solar power plant, with a power of photovoltaic modules of 3,059.76 kWp, otherwise one of the largest in the Republic of Croatia, will cost 10.3 million kuna. A handsome 5.1 million kuna has been approved for this part of the project, with co-financing from both the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Croatia from the Rural Development Programme.

The Ministry of Agriculture also awarded a non-refundable amount based on the Croatian company Podravka's application for the tender for the implementation of Submeasure 4.2. Support for investments in processing, marketing and/or the development of agricultural products.

The remaining amount of the project, standing at a not so small 1.4 million kuna, refers to the construction of a substation through which the solar power plant will be connected to HEP's electricity network, and that is and will remain fully financed by Podravka alone.

The expected annual production of this power plant is 3.2 MWh, and, as the Croatian company Podravka reports, its commissioning will lead to significant savings in the cost of electricity from conventional sources for the needs of the enterprise's busy factories, but also to a positive impact on the environment by reducing harmful excess CO2 emissions.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Page 1 of 3

Search