The Croatian Association of Renewable Energy Sources presented the study on the solar potential in the agricultural sector.
Losses from climate extremes in Croatia increased 16 times between 2018 and 2022. Damage from droughts and floods in agriculture last year amounted to 36% of the net profit in agriculture from 2021. The study presented by OIEH offers solutions to these challenges. Agrisolar power plants represent a new direction in the world of renewable energy sources, with their main advantage being the dual use of land and fishponds for both agricultural production and electricity generation.
OIEH Director Maja Pokrovac said that Croatia has recognized the value of agrisolar by allowing the installation of solar power plants on all agricultural land registered in the land use registry. Croatia ranks among the best and has become one of the ten EU countries that have opted for its use.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development Ivo Milatic explained the legislative changes that have facilitated the development of agrisolar power plants. The Croatian Government has decided, with the aim of strengthening the country’s energy independence, to streamline and expedite the development of renewable energy projects. The Ministry has streamlined the energy permitting process for agrisolar power plants through legislation, eliminating the need for a public competition for the issuance of energy permits. The Government will continue to work on simplifying all procedures to elevate Croatia further on the scale and be on par with the most developed countries that employ green technologies.
Hrvoje Jazvic from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) spoke about the significant potential of renewable energy sources, highlighting that agrisolar power plants represent a new boost in clean electricity production while protecting agricultural crops and fish farming in aquaculture.
By using agrisolar power plants on just 1% of the total available agricultural land in Croatia, which amounts to approximately 1,000 hectares, it can contribute to an annual electricity production of over 1,000 GWh, which is three times more than the currently installed capacity of solar power plants in Croatia. Additionally, by implementing floating solar power plants in existing freshwater aquaculture, it is possible to an annual production of over 16,000 tons of fish, which is four times more than the production in recent decades in Croatia.