Croatia: The government will freeze investment in renewable energy sources warn investors

27. September 2013. / SEE Energy News

If the proposal of the RES National Plan would be adopted, investments in the construction of solar and wind power plants will be completely stoped. Sector of renewable energy sources, which is in Croatia quietly and slowly began to wake up in the recent years, these days jumped to feet shocked by plans which provides relevant Ministry of Economy for further future in Croatia. In fact, it would soon present in front of the government a proposal of the National Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources, a document which defines the further development and policy by 2020, in the framework of the European energy policy.

From the Croatian Chamber of Economy to the minister Ivan Vrdoljak, in the name of community renewable energy sources, a sharp letter was sent expressing discontent with the Action Plans. It is quite contrary, according to the memo, to the current energy strategy, which integral part should also be an implementation act.

“By the Energy Development Strategy and existing laws to the investors is opened the renewable energy market, and this Action Plan defines the quotas for investment interruption  in Croatia”, CCC(Croatian Chamber of Commerce) warns the minister Vrdoljak , from whom they are looking for an emergency meeting because of the disputed document.

Namely it is anticipated by the Action Plan that the energy share from renewable sources in gross final consumption in 2020. will reach 20.1 percent. That share in 2005. was 12.8 percent, and this year it is anticipated level of 15.8 percent. Objectives are defined in three areas: electric, transport and heating and cooling sector, and the most interesting are the total contribution assessment of each technology for electricity production. . By the Action Plan is literally frozen previously installed capacity in the sun and wind power plants from 2015. to 2020.

According the National Action Plan for RES the photovoltaic systems remain so for those six years, until 2020, at a level of 52 MW and wind parks of 400 MW. Growth is projected for the production in hydro power plants, by about 15 percent, which means an increase in capacity of 373 MW, a total of 2158 MW. It follows the growth in geothermal and biomass power plants. But in those cases, experts say that it has to do with unpretentious movements which are mainly results of the low starting base. Capacity of biomass power plant would reach 125 MW, and in geothermal only 10 MW.

“That plan is not inconvenient for us, it is disastrous and I hope it will not see the light, and that the government will not adopt it “, does not hide the disappointment Tunjic Mirko, director of Split company EHN, which at the beginning of this year put into operation the first big wind park in Trogir hinterland and works on new projects. He was shocked, he says, that after five years of investments of millions euros in this sector without subsidies and government guarantees, now suddenly turns to the plate and says that there is no space for projects.

“Just after been created the prerequisites to finally have the preconditions for further investment and development in this part of the energy sector, someone suddenly changes policy. I am sorry because is not considering the reducing of energy import in Croatia and production increase from RES, but it is political decision. If the government accepts it, we cannot fight against it, says Tunjic. Also Ljubomir Majdandzic, president of the Croatian professional association for solar energy is more than exasperated by the Action plan. “Croatia is now literally at the bottom, at 28. place in the EU for solar energy use, and  by this action plan will return a hundred years ago”, said Majdandzic. With the potential which exists, according to him, the installed sun power in 2020. should be minimally of 520 MW, ten times higher than anticipated. In the CCC’s letter the minister Vrdoljak is also warned of the possibility that investors who have already launched projects and entered into the process of permit obtaining , if they were stopped by this plan could start the issue of compensation. It is also indicated to the negative effect that this scenario could have for the development and production of domestic equipment, which would be prevented from acquiring the necessary references needed for export.

“The current project implementation was slowly due to the procedures. Comparing the sector growth with other countries it is clear a significant lag. Therefore the question is does this Action Plan propose the complete closure of the renewable energy sector, because it also reduces those remaining little opportunities for development projects” , warned the CCC, from which incredulously look at the fact that the Ministry based this action plan on the assumption that the power consumption will stagnate by 2020, which also means economic growth stopping.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk/Cro medias digest reports

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