Upcoming auctions for premiums for renewable energy power plants in Croatia could secure more than EUR 1 billion investments next year. About 200 projects with an installed capacity of 13,000 megawatts (MW) are currently in the pipeline, for which investments are estimated at EUR 10 billion.
Two weeks ago, the European Commission approved Croatia’s scheme for incentivizing renewables worth EUR 783 million. The green light should speed up the launch of auctions earlier planned for the second half of the year.
Auctions for premiums could attract investments of more than EUR 1 billion next year in all renewable energy technologies, which will help Croatia achieve its goals, said Maja Pokrovac, Managing Director of Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (RES Croatia), in an interview with portal Jutarnji.
Projects have been on hold for four years
Pokrovac underlined that the green light for the subsidy scheme kickstarts the implementation of the projects. In her words, the projects were on hold for four years because the financial institutions did not consider them bankable.
Pokrovac also stressed numerous advantages from the recent adoption of the law on renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration and the law on the electricity market.
Energy approval is now obtained at an early stage of project development, while earlier it would happen in the final stages, she said and added project development would be reduced from ten to five years, and that deadlines for grid connection have been shortened from twelve to three months.
Green energy is the most attractive for investments
Ivo Milatić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, also stressed the benefits of the two laws for hitting the targeted 3,000 MW in renewables capacity by 2030.
Renewables are likely attracting the most significant interest among all sectors of the Croatian economy, Milatić said at the presentation of two studies on renewables in Croatia initiated by the OIEH and financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with EUR 146.000.
Grid connection is one of the three key obstacles to the development of renewable energy projects
Milatić pointed out that more than 200 projects with a total capacity of more than 13,000 MW are being developed and estimated it could secure investments of more than EUR 10 billion.
Goran Majstorović from the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute said that despite the tremendous energy potential and the interest of investors, the realization of projects is relatively weak because only 1,000 MW has been built in the last 15 years.
There are several reasons, and the grid connection is one of the three key obstacles for developing such projects, alongside environmental protection and spatial planning issues, Majstrović added.
OIEH presented two studies on transmission network investments and project development
According to RES Croatia, the first document is an action plan for the grid upgrades necessary for integrating renewables in Croatia. The other one is a guide for developing and implementing renewable energy projects in Croatia. The former was prepared by experts from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb and the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute. Consulting company EnergoVizija issued the latter.
Maja Pokrovac announced that OIEH had initiated two more studies on floating power plants and agrisolar.