Croatia: Electricity imports dependency should be decreased with new power plants, both RES and conventional

, SEE Energy News

Croatia necessary needs own capacities from renewable energy sources, but also essential, basic facilities in thermal power plants.

With the fall of oil barrel price, which dropped below 50 dollars, also falls the electricity prices in the European market, which further undermines the low demand due to the economic crisis. Electricity can be bought currently on the European market for a little more than three cents per kilowatt hour, as opposed to, for example, mid-2008th, when it was eight and a half cents and oil barrel amounted 150 dollars. Is it worth, in this situation, to import more electricity rather than produce energy in local factories, and how is in general, with such electricity prices on the market, cost-effective construction of large capacities such as Plomin C on coal.

According the experts, we have to build new capacities in the long term, because an increasing number of existing facilities for energy production – thermal power plants, will go out of the drive due to work life, while for the preparation and construction of new ones it takes at least five to ten years. We need new capacities, thermal power plants primarily, because in the power system there will be an increasing number of plants at renewable sources of energy – sun, wind, biomass and others, which are impermanent, and at which consumers supply cannot rely on.

Coal is the most stable – Every sensible country strives to have its own installed capacity sufficient to cover in the case of terminated European cohesion due to various reasons. Always are possible natural disasters, large common disorders in the European market, any war or political escalation. And it becomes increasingly important with the growing of share of intermittent renewable energy sources in total production, believes technician Marijan Kale. Croatia must, he notes, build a large power plant on a permanent primary source of energy, better on coal than gas, which is foolish to be burnt in power plants. – Of course coal and gas will be imported because we do not have enough either our own gas, but it is more prudent to import raw material instead of the most costly forms of energy – electricity, said Kale, adding that the problems come if we do not build new capacities on time.

It is impossible to predict the prices of finished electricity on the market in the long term, but he says, as well as energy prices, believes that the coal price still be stable. Many analysts believe that the electricity price will rise due to growing consumption, but also joining a growing number of renewable energy sources in the system, whose cost production is still high. Croatia has more than enough production capacities in power plants, but many of them are not competitive. In some of our thermal power plants, such as those in Rijeka and Sisak, production is too expensive; this is way mos of them were shut down.

Last year HEP in its thermal power plants, due to the good hydrological year and the large electricity production in hydropower plants, produced 29 percent less than the year before. And import was much smaller, almost 36 percent, wherefore half of the electricity in NPP Krsko is not considered as imported, but its own HEP production in the joint Slovenian-Croatian nuclear power plant. Hydro power plants produced 8.4 GWh of electricity, which is a record in the past years, so the production of thermal power plants was much lower, as well as import which, for example, in 2012th, due to unfavorable weather, was far greater. HEP imported 2.76 GWh of electricity last year, 16 percent of what was sold in total, whereas three years ago, these import was up 36 percent. The experts conclude, we cannot rely on import, because the situation, as they say, may get worse even tomorrow. Croatia need own capacities from renewable energy sources, but also an essential, basic facilities in thermal power plants. , transmits