The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has warned that investors in renewable energy have been waiting seven years for a regulatory framework to install wind farms and solar parks. The new laws since 2021 haven’t changed a thing because bylaws are missing and new investments were halted, it pointed out.
Croatia adopted the Law on the Electricity Market and the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration in 2021. The new framework envisages the issuance the energy approval. Under interim provisions, the government invited developers to submit projects and received 216 applications, but investors have been complaining the process is too slow.
According to HGK’s Association of Renewable Energy Sources, all the deadlines for the adoption of bylaws for the two laws have expired.
All deadlines for the adoption of bylaws have been missed
The rules on connection to the transmission network and the rules on connection to the distribution network have been drafted. But for several months the documents have been sitting in the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to be given a green light.
The decree on the public calls for energy approvals, a key document for developing a project, is more than a year late, the association said.
Also, the price of grid connection hasn’t been determined even though the deadline expired five months ago. The investors also await the changes in the regulation on encouraging the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration.
Čović: It is not possible to develop projects even on private land
The adoption of the new Law on the Electricity Market has completely stopped investments, even on private land, and it will be like that until the bylaws are adopted, the association’s President Ivo Čović said.
He stressed time was wasted during the energy crisis, arguing that energy independence should be at the top of the priority list.
Instead of importing expensive electricity, Croatia could export it, thanks to the great potential of renewables, Čović added.
Instead of investments in new power plants, the country spent EUR 600 million on imports
The representatives of the association noted that in the first eight months of 2022, Croatia paid EUR 592 million for electricity imports.
The money could have been used to install 600 MW in renewable power plants, however the country currently has only 140 MW in solar power plants.
Instead of investing them in photovoltaic facilities and producing domestic electricity, the funds were lost, said Ivan Strunje, a member of the council of the association.