The first municipal heating system on biomass in Croatia was launched in Pokupsko, southeast of capital Zagreb. It was completely financed by European Union’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development (Ipard), local portal Kronike Velike Gorice reported. The system has a capacity of 1.1 MW, and thirty users were connected through individual substations worth up to HRK 23,000 (EUR 3,000). The network includes the elementary school, houses, the health centre, and local utilities, while companies also expressed interest, municipality chief Božidar Škrinjarić stated.
The report said 70% of the territory of Pokupsko is covered by forests, providing biomass, and that users may save up to 40% by using wood chips for heating. The heating plant also burns hay, leaves and corn stalks. The network is planned for expansion throughout the town when needed, and a utility was established to run the facility. The municipality implemented the project in partnership with Regea (North-west Croatia Regional Energy Agency). The national Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (FZOEU) also participated. Seven more such projects are in the pipeline, Regea’s managing director Julije Domac said at the inauguration.
Seven more projects are in the pipeline, Regea’s managing director Julije Domac said at the inauguration.
Dražen Barišić, mayor of the nearby town of Velika Gorica, said his municipality should strive for the establishment of a centralised and environmentally friendly heating system. The current facilities are obsolete and problematic, but some progress has been made with the switch from heating oil to natural gas and the reconstruction of the heating distribution network.
Pokupsko has introduced LED lamps for public lighting, solar panels on roofs and heating pumps in the school and kindergarten. The paperwork for the heating system took six years, and the responsible authority received over 50 kilograms of documents, according to Regea’s deputy head Velimir Šegon, portal Lokal.hr reported.