Croatia, Country needs to shift fossil fuel imports away from Russia

, SEE Energy News

As a part of the European Semester Spring 2022 package, the European Commission (EC) said that Croatia needs to shift fossil fuel imports away from Russia, and speed up the deployment of renewables as part of EU measures to cut overall reliance on fossil fuels.

The recommendations from the EC state that Croatia needs to accelerate decarbonization efforts, including in the industry, reduce energy import dependency from Russia and take measures to foster integration in the single market. Croatia has committed to a phase-out the use of coal for electricity generation by 2033.

In 2020, Croatia reached a share of 28 % of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption, exceeding its target of 20 %. In 2021, imports of Russian gas accounted for 22 % of total natural gas supply, while 57 % was imported through the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which was commissioned in January 2021. Gas and oil represent 30.3 % and 33.7 % of the Croatian energy mix, respectively.

The Commission further said that Croatia has to accelerate the deployment of renewables, focusing in particular on wind, solar and geothermal sources, including through small-scale renewable energy production and developing energy communities, mainly by streamlining procedures for administrative authorization and permits. Wind and solar energy represent around 2.1 % of Croatia’s energy mix with shares of 13 % and 1 % of the total installed capacity, respectively.

It also has to further upgrade electricity transmission and distribution networks and invest in electricity storage, with stepped-up action needed to reduce energy demand by improving energy efficiency, mainly in residential buildings, and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the heating and transport sectors.