Obstruction by local communities and environmental restrictions are the main obstacles, identified by Slovenia’s authorities, for the development of renewable energy projects, according to the European Commission’s assessment of the country’s final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).
Slovenia’s national contribution to the 2030 EU-wide renewable energy target is 27% of final energy consumption. In 2018 the share of renewables in consumption was 21%. The 27% target is considered by the commission to be low in ambition as it is below the 37% target calculated based on the formula in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action.
Slovenia intends to increase the share of renewables from 21% to 27%
The formula distributes the efforts across all EU member states in order to achieve a goal at EU level of 32%.
The European Commission has prepared assessments of the final NECPs of all member states, which include their performance in addressing the recommendations after the submission of draft NECPs.
NECPs show how each European Union member country would contribute to the bloc’s energy and climate targets for 2030 with renewables, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission cuts, interconnections, and research and innovation. The EU intends to achieve a 40% reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels (30% from 2005 levels outside the EU Emissions Trading System), a 32% share for renewables, and a 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency.
Renewables – share of renewables in electricity consumption to reach 43%
According to the European Commission, Slovenia partially addressed its recommendation on the draft NECP to raise its ambition in renewables.
The obstacles are Natura 2000 and the opposition of local communities to wind farms, hydropower plants
Slovenia describes difficulties in increasing its share of renewable energy power generation citing environmental constraints – around 35% of its national territory is part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas – and the opposition of local communities to wind power projects and installation of new hydropower plants, reads the assessment on final NECP.
In the electricity sector, Slovenia aims to raise the share of renewables in electricity consumption to 43% by 2030 compared to 38.6% in 2020. The country significantly reduced the ambitions presented in the draft plan (47.4%) without providing a satisfactory reason, the assessment reads.
The country plans to increase the capacity of solar power plants from 400 MW to 1.650 MW
The target will be achieved mainly with hydropower plants, solar PV plants and combined heat and power (CHP) plants burning wood biomass. Wind and biogas are still expected to remain marginal (about 3% or lower).
The commission said Slovenia’s potential in terms of renewable energy sources, hydropower, solar and wind power would remain largely underexploited.
The country plans to increase the capacity of solar power plants from 400 MW to 1.650 MW, and of wind farms from 10 MW to 150 MW.
The use of renewable energy in heating and cooling is planned to be increased from the expected 36.4% for 2020 to 41.4% in 2030, and in transport from 3% in 2017 to 20.1 % in 2030.
Investments – EUR 28 billion needed
For the implementation of the measures included in the NECP, Slovenia will need EUR 28 billion in investments. Energy components in all sectors will get EUR 12.6 billion, with buildings receiving around EUR 9.5 billion.
The national energy and climate plan lays out the sources of financing at the EU and national levels. A part of the public sources could come from the upcoming CO2 tax, the commission said.
GHG emissions – 20% reduction compared to 2005
Slovenia’s NECP sets a 2030 greenhouse gas emission cut target for sectors outside the EU emissions trading system (non-ETS) of 20% compared to 2005.
It is more ambitious than the target under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) of 15% below 2005 levels by 2030, the commission said.
ESR translates the EU’s goal to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 in binding annual targets for member states.
Energy efficiency – modest ambition
Slovenia’s national contribution to the 2030 EU-wide energy efficiency target is of modest ambition for primary energy consumption, and of low ambition for final energy consumption.
The final NECP includes substantial information on buildings, including a target to reduce final energy consumption by 20% by 2030 compared to 2005, the assessment reads.