As Jasmina Trstenjak/Novac writes on the 2nd of April, 2019, the Republic of Croatia must, and is, turning more and more strongly towards using its own renewable energy sources, this was the main message of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy of Tomislav Ćorić at the Wind Europe 2019 Conference & Exhibition, held April from the 2nd to the 4th of this month in Bilbao, Spain.
It’s been three and a half years since the historic COP 21 in Paris, which was one of the most important first steps towards a global low-carbon transition. The goal is to limit global warming below 2 degrees celsius, up to a maximum of 1.5 degrees celsius.
“Although we’ve done a lot since then, there are still many challenges ahead of us,” Ćorić stated at the beginning of his speech on the subject, held at the largest and the most significant European event in the area of wind energy use, in which the Republic of Croatia participated for the very first time.
The conference is focused on clean energy for Europe and brings together key European institutions and the European economy in the wind industry, 8000 participants, 300 exhibitors from various countries and as many as 155 speakers, including Croatia’s Tomislav Ćorić, who presented those present with Croatian experiences and further plans.
He recalled the fact that Croatia realised that, for security reasons, it has to turn much more towards its own sources of energy, primarily relying on hydropower, the sun and the wind.
”We will intensively support the development of geothermal, biomass and biogas projects, addressing the needs of the industry, agriculture, and all those sectors that need the synergistic effect of electricity and heat production in a highly efficient manner,” he continued by briefly outlining Croatia’s energy plans, adding that a very important segment of energy transition is the increased share of electricity in transport, such as in heating and cooling systems.
Additional space can be seen in Croatian tourism, which accounts for almost 20 percent of the country’s GDP, and has a disadvantageous relationship between the supply and demand of electricity in summer tourist months, so we can see the need for, and the opportunity to introduce a micro solar system. Tourism will profit even more, Tomislav Ćorić believes, with the electrification of transport, he therefore believes that it would be good to open the story of corporate contracts on the purchase of electricity in tourism.
Adding to the issue of tourism, he pointed out that Croatia is known for its more than 1,000 islands and that the island’s dependence on energy imports could be reduced by the greater use of renewable sources and innovative energy systems, which could also lead to welcome cost reductions. Accordingly, the European Commission has started its initiative on the energy transition of European islands with a view to seeing them eventually become sustainable, and Croatia is aiming to continue this work during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of Europe, so as to continue to ensure the development of the energy transition strategy on Croatia’s many islands.
”Among the 26 European islands are the Cres-Lošinj archipelago and Korčula, Brač and Hvar. In the first phase, Cres will make its energy transition plan this summer, and next year, Hvar, Brač and Korčula will do the same,” the minister stated.
He also took the opportunity to announce Croatia’s new energy strategy which is being brought in as early as this year, in which one of the key goals will be to increase the production of both wind and sun-sourced electricity.
”In line with this, we expect more renewable energy sources than in the past ten years. The goal is to have three times more wind and twenty times more solar energy in the next ten years. With the wind and other choices of renewable energy, we will achieve 32 percent of our total energy needs by 2030 and at least 56 percent by 2050, and the transition to renewable energy will reduce harmful emissions. We believe that further growth in green energy investment will also affect the country’s development itself, as well as [provide] new employment and industry growth,” concluded Minister Tomislav Ćorić at the Bilbao conference.
Maja Pokrovac, the director of the Croatia Renewable Energy Association, added that with the aim of achieving 32 percent of renewable sources, Croatia will contribute 36.4 percent according to the National Climate Action Plan and Action Plan sent to Brussels in late 2018, while the director of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, expressed his pleasant surprise with the fact that Croatia is the most optimistic country in JI Europe when it comes to the share of renewables in consumption.
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Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for Novac/Jutarnji