Renewables

Croatian Chamber of Economy asks for lex specialis for renewable energy sector

Croatian Chamber of Economy lex specialis for renewables position paper

Photo: HGK

Published

March 28, 2024

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Published:

March 28, 2024

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The Croatian Chamber of Economy called on the Government of Croatia to adopt a lex specialis for renewable energy sources to speed up the deployment of green electricity plants.

The Association for Renewable Energy Sources of the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) produced a position paper identifying the obstacles in the sector and possible solutions.

Croatia still has the longest procedure for developing renewable energy projects in Europe, HGK said.

It is the association’s second position paper on the matter. Some of the obstacles from the one presented a year ago have been resolved, such as the adoption of the decree for energy approval, rules on connecting to the distribution and transmission networks, and grid rules. In addition, the rulebook on simple structures has been amended, which now makes it easier for solar power plants up to 10 MW to be installed.

The share of renewables in  total energy consumption in Croatia is decreasing

However, due to delays in the adoption of bylaws and slow administrative procedures, the share of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption in Croatia is decreasing. According to the association, it is unlikely that the country will meet the 1,500 MW target for new renewable electricity capacity by the end of this year.

The renewable energy sector doesn’t need declarative support, but concrete measures, said Marija Šćulac, director of the chamber’s Sector for Industry and Sustainable Development.

Grid connection fee is 554 days late

The biggest delay is with the grid connection fee, which hasn’t been determined even after 554 days since the deadline expired. The longest procedure is still in the environmental protection segment. By the time it is complete, the investor’s energy approval could expire.

Ivo Čović, president of the Association of Renewable Energy Sources of HGK, noted that bylaws are often in collision with one another. For example, energy storage is defined in one part of the regulation, but there is no word on it in another.

There are almost no areas where interpretations of the legal provisions of various public institutions don’t cause issues, Čović points out.

Three key measures

As three key measures, the association is proposing the establishment of the interdepartmental working group and adopting a lex specialis and a geothermal energy law.

It said a comprehensive harmonization of the regulatory framework for renewables would require a multi-year effort. It would additionally slow projects, the panel pointed out.

Adopting the lex specialis quickly could accelerate project implementation and carry multiple positive effects on the investment climate, economy, and energy balance, the document reads.

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