Croatia, the 28th Member State of the EU, hosted another EUFORES workshop in its parliament. The workshop focused on renewable energy policies and their implementation in Croatia. It was just another one in the series of workshops organised within the Keep-on-track! project which aims at monitoring that the actual development of renewable energy in the EU towards the 2020 targets is not lagging behind the trajectory outlined in the RES Directive.
In his welcome speech, Josip Leko, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, said that renewable energy sources will surely be part of the future economic world as many economic problems are related to climate change.Therefore, Croatia needs to shift to green economy. Then, Daniel Mondekar, MP and co-host of the workshop, together with Branko Bacic, Chairman of the Environment and Nature Conservation Committee and Igor Radenovic, Chairman of the Committee on the Economy, followed that renewable energy sources should not be viewed as an environment protection issue but rather as an issue of economic growth and development. According to them, Croatia will create possibilities for making a maximum use of public funds in order to meet the RES target. Marie Donnelly, Director of Renewables, Research, Innovation and Energy Efficiency, European Commission, welcomed Croatia as a new EU Member State and appealed on Croatia to finalize the transposition of the RES directive and to formally submit the NREAP. She continued that the EU may not reach the 2020 targets without additional policy measures, investments in grid and infrastructure, and stable yet flexible supporting systems. The first session was concluded by Kristina Celic, Ministry of Economy, and Goran Granic, Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar.
In the second session of the workshop, Ljubomir Majdandzic, Croatian Association for Solar Energy (HSUSE), brought the attention to Croatian potential in solar energy. He also mentioned that there are numerous administrative barriers requiring many documents and high costs. Josche Muth, European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), presented the rationale for changing the energy system from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Christian Panzer, Energy Economics Group, commented on current RES policies which appear insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. Velimir Segon, North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA), pointed out the work of Covenant of Mayors as well as numerous city projects. Jan Geiss, EUFORES, closed the workshop after the fruitful discussion.
Please find the workshop presentations on the conference website link below.