The international conference, the second in a row, DAYS OF THE SUN, which this year is being held in Bol on Brač, attracted a lot of attention from both experts and state institutions from Croatia and surrounding countries. The two-day conference will be attended by 400 participants who will have the opportunity to hear from more than 60 lecturers and panelists all the novelties in the field of renewable energy sources, especially solar energy.
Maja Pokrovac, director of OIE Croatia, addressed the crowd in her welcome speech and highlighted the recommendations of the European Commission for Croatia, which are mainly related to reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
“Croatia annually imports about 53 percent of energy, although it has great potential in renewable sources, especially in wind and solar energy and geothermal sources. Half of the production comes from hydropower plants, and the share of wind power plants has increased to 14 percent, but the potential of solar energy has not yet been sufficiently utilized. According to the recommendation of the European Commission, Croatia should reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by faster development of renewable sources, especially by investing in wind, solar and geothermal energy. “Croatia needs to complete the incomplete legislative framework, which would simplify administrative procedures for issuing permits, as well as installing equipment such as solar panels in residential buildings,” says Maja Pokrovac.
Valburga Hemetsberger, director of SolarPower Europe, says in her introductory speech that now is the right time for new solar goals and ambitions and that investments in solar energy are slowly taking over investments in oil.
“For every dollar invested in fossil energy today, $1.4 is invested in green energy, which was unthinkable until recently. The energy crisis has taken its toll and that’s why we all have to speed up the transition so that Croatian and other European citizens can benefit from cheap energy. Research has shown that in the past year, citizens who had solar panels installed on their roofs saved 3,800 euros on their electricity bills, in contrast to those who did not. The price of energy in the EU is too high, but the European Commission has a plan to get rid of fossil fuels. We want to leave this world to our children as it should be, and not to face droughts and floods,” she points out.
Prof. Ph.D. sc. Sandra Voća, vice dean for teaching and study programs at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, said that this faculty participates in numerous scientific researches, and that the use of renewable energy sources in agriculture has recently attracted special attention.
According to Karl Ressler, a member of the European Parliament, solar energy is one of the most important topics today. He reminded that Europe wants to become climate neutral, and that solar energy is key to that.
Ivo Milatić, as the representative of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, points out that Croatia is different today in terms of renewable energy sources than it was a few years ago.
“A few years ago, we had a chaotic situation with renewable energy sources. That chaos was solved by means of two laws. These are the Law on the Electricity Market and the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration. In a short time, we have achieved significant success and from the beginning of 2021 until today we have issued 2,454 MW of energy approvals, of which 1,300 MW are solar. By the end of 2024, we have to install 1,500 MW of new RES and we will achieve that,” says Milatić.
After the introductory speeches, Walburga Hemetsberger’s presentation “The road to 2050 is paved with solar energy” followed. She said that Europe installed about 41 GW of solar power last year, which is like building 14 nuclear power plants. Although reaching 1 GW of solar installations is not easy, in Europe as many as 10 countries have crossed that limit. SolarPower Europe predicts that Croatia will cross the 1 GW limit by 2026.
Then followed the first panel where the role of public policies for stronger development of solar projects was discussed.
Tonči Glavinić, advisor to the Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property, confirmed that the new proposal of the Law on Spatial Planning introduces a much simpler procedure for issuing permits for solar power plants, which could certainly encourage their growth.
“This law brings numerous changes. One is that the Republic of Croatia, with the new provisions of the law, can get the status of member countries that have a certain factor of energy independence,” he says.
Then they discussed the combination of agriculture and solar energy, but also how to use the traffic infrastructure for the production of solar energy.
The sponsors of the conference dedicated to the development of solar energy projects are the European Commission, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, SolarPower Europe, the Ministry of Regional Development and Funds of the European Union, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property, the Ministry of Agriculture, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.
Source: Energetski Portal by energetskiportal.rs.
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