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Slovenia’s Kobarid eyes solar, heat pumps for energy self-sufficiency

April 10, 2019 | Comments: 0Author:

Photo: Stefano Merli from Legnano, Italy [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Slovenia’s Kobarid eyes solar, heat pumps for energy self-sufficiency

The Slovenian municipality of Kobarid is eyeing an uptake in renewable energy self-supply to ensure environmental sustainability that would, in turn, foster tourism development in the town immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

Kobarid, Slovenia’s westernmost municipality, is looking to gradually achieve energy self-sufficiency with the aim of surpassing the EU’s target of a 32% share of renewable energy sources in gross energy consumption for 2030, mainly through the installation of rooftop solar power plants and heat pumps, according to Mayor Marko Matajurc, Primorske Novice reported.

This would create savings for both the municipality and its citizens and ensure environmental sustainability, which would in turn foster tourism development in the municipality, situated in the Julian Alps close to the border with Italy, said Matajurc.

The municipality of Kobarid is now seeking partners to help it in the endeavor, and Slovenian blockchain-powered energy trading platform SunContract with solar power system supplier Sonce Energija could be one of them.

For this purpose, the municipality and SunContract have signed a non-binding letter of intent to enter cooperation, aimed at providing more information to the local community. If the municipal council approves SunContract’s offer, the sides could forge formal cooperation, according to the report.

In the first phase, four solar power plants could be installed at the Breginj and Drežnica elementary schools and the Stanovišče and Podbela stables, said Deputy Mayor Marko Miklavič, noting that the municipality also counts on individuals and businesses to install solar power systems.

SunContract CEO Gregor Novak said that investors can be found if municipalities and individuals cannot finance investments in solar power plants and heat pumps on their own, also noting that the cost of installing a solar power system for a residential house is around EUR 14,000, while it is possible to obtain EUR 2,000 in co-financing from the environmental fund. A return on the investment can be expected within seven to eight years, according to him.

SunContract willing to stimulate investments in renewables

According to SunContract’s announcement on Medium, the letter of intent signed with the municipality of Kobarid is aimed at laying the foundations for long-term cooperation between the two sides.

The project envisages investments of EUR 1.5 million in the installation of solar power plants to municipal and commercial facilities in the municipality and up to 50 self-sufficient solar power plants for citizens in the next two years, according to the announcement.

The goal of the first phase would be four solar power plants with an estimated total power of 0.5 MWp. In the first phase, SunContract is willing to stimulate local investments in renewable energy sources and provide global services that connect producers and consumers of electricity, according to the announcement.

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