Croatia: Gov intends to finance energy projects for EU benefits, energy security may shift to Croatia potentials

, SEE Energy News

If Croatia exploit its capabilities, can become an energy hub and a leader in the region, it was pointed out in the round-table discussion on the future of the energy markets of Croatia and the European Union. Although the total energy consumption of Croatia is small compared to most countries, its geographical location and energy policy can provide her the role of energy hub in the region, said Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak.

According to him, the implementation of the project should contribute to that as well as the construction of the Adriatic-Ionian pipelines, LNG terminal, as well as better utilization of Croatia’s energy infrastructure – pipelines, oil pipelines and refineries – which is currently not exploited to the extent that enable its capacity.

Vrdoljak also adds the exploration in the Croatian part of the Adriatic.

As previously announced, the tender for concessions to explore Adriatic Sea should be announced in the first half of 2014, while in the second half competition for concessions for the continental part of Croatia could be expected.

All this together, according to Vrdoljak, could result so that in a few years the gas quantities on the territory of Croatia are significantly greater than its needs. This in turn means that gas prices should fall, from which will benefit the citizens, especially the industry because the price of energy is crucial factor in its competitiveness, he said.

Conference participants are quite critical about the energy policy of the European Union, which they consider to lead to a drop in investment and difficulties for traditional energy companies.

So the CEO of Croatian Electric Power (HEP) Tomislav Seric warns that the EU objectives of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing the share of renewable energy sources, as well as policies that ensure a quick return on investment, with practical elimination of the risk, with investors in renewable energy, lead to a decrease investment in classical sources.

“Europe wants security of supply with cheap energy, and all is preferable to be green, and this approach is a mistake that has destroyed the market”, said Seric.

As for HEP, he notes that given the significant component of imported electricity, HEP has room for investment in new capacities.

As well as Seric, director of the Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar, Goran Granic, also considers energy policy of the European Union basically unsuccessful, because when renewable energy exceeds a certain proportion, it becomes counterproductive to the whole system and inhibits investment in the classical sources.

Therefore Granic, instead of a system that is based on market regulation, emissions trading, (which the European Commission has recognized as a very fertile ground for corruption), aid to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, proposes introduction of taxes or fees on CO2. This tax or fee would be paid by the end users, and the idea is based on the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund that would collect a fee and allocate the assets in the form of investment grants for projects that reduce CO2 emissions as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk

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