The Slovenian government has adopted a revision of the 2018 budget of Eko Sklad, the public environmental fund managed by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, increasing subsidies planned for 2018 as part of efforts to fight climate change, according to a press release from the government.
Eko Sklad can now provide up to EUR 15 million in subsidies for the purchase of wood biomass boilers and heat pumps in 2018, an increase of EUR 5 million, the government said.
The subsidy budget for developing the cycling infrastructure has been boosted by EUR 1.5 million to EUR 3.5 million and for the purchase of environmentally-friendly buses and utility vehicles by EUR 17.2 million to EUR 21 million.
Another EUR 600,000 has been set aside for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting low-carbon development.
Eko Sklad will also continue approving subsidies envisaged under the energy law, in the total amount of EUR 50 million, the government said, adding that EUR 50 million in lending has been secured to finance environmental protection projects of individuals, companies, and local communities.
Slovenia, known for its strong environmental policies, paid EUR 143.5 million in subsidies to renewable energy producers in 2017, according to an earlier statement by the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The subsidy scheme is an EU-approved state aid instrument aimed at helping Slovenia reach the national renewable energy target of 25% by 2020. The share stood at about 21% at the end of 2016.
The Slovenian government has adopted a proposal of a resolution on the Energy Concept of Slovenia, which envisages lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to the 1990 level.
However, Slovenia’s transition to a low-carbon economy would hinge on continued use of nuclear energy, with the operations of the Krško nuclear power plant to be extended to 2043, according to the proposal.