The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (FZOEU) approved the Sol Siccus Tobacum project for direct cofinancing of the installation of tobacco drying systems which use renewable energy sources. The endeavour was developed by Virovitica–Podravina County’s Regional Development Agency (Vidra).
According to a report on the county’s website, the investment is worth HRK 6 million (EUR 790,000), the fund participates with up to 80%. This area accounts for 90% of Croatia’s tobacco production, and the biggest expenses are for energy. The project to install 200 solar tobacco dryers aims to increase the producers’ competitiveness, and to encourage them to switch to renewables from gas or heating oil.
Two hundred dryers will get solar panels on roofs, resulting in savings of 30% on energy, which means the investment will pay off in the first year of use, said Tomislav Tolušić, the county head.