Round table: Installation of solar panels is growing fast

NEWS 17.06.202415:46 0 komentara

The management of the electricity system is facing challenges as a paradigm shift has taken place and consumers have become electricity producers. This was announced at a round table on Monday, where it was also said that solar energy production has experienced rapid growth in recent times. Pročitaj više

The round table “Challenges of Croatia’s Energy Transition” was organised by the Scientific Council for Oil and Gas Economy and Energy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

The Chairman of the Council, Ivan Petrovic, pointed out that the European Green Deal aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

On the basis of the Green Deal, Croatia has adopted several strategic documents to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially with the help of renewable energy sources (RES), he said.

Petrovic: The system is changing from a passive and one-sided to a two-sided and dynamic system

Interest in the development of renewable energy projects is increasing. These are mainly requests for photovoltaic and wind power plants, especially in the southern districts, which puts considerable pressure on transmission and distribution operators, he said.

Thedevelopment of geothermal power plants, biomass and biogas plants, which are mainly located on the Croatian mainland, is less pronounced, Petrović said, but added that their potential is also considerable.

“Croatia has enormous RE potential and can make a significant contribution to the common European goal of climate neutrality,” he said, emphasising the paradigm shift in the Croatian energy system, where consumers are becoming energy producers.

The system is changing from a passive and one-sided to a two-sided and dynamic system, Petrovic said, highlighting four important trends and changes – decarbonisation, decentralisation, democratisation and digitalisation.

Significant solar plants have been commissioned by companies

Danko Blazevic from the Croatian Transmission System Operator said that managing the electricity grid is a challenge due to the extensive and massive connection of new renewable energy.

In the last one to two years, installations and connections to the distribution grid have increased rapidly, especially in the area of solar energy, he said. Solar energy is increasingly contributing to energy production, wind energy is also growing, but the dependence on energy produced at the Krško nuclear power plant and hydropower plants is still high.

Significant solar plants were commissioned by companies that “suffered from high energy prices in 2021 and 2022″,” while households were left behind because electricity prices were capped, makingthe introduction of solar energy “marginally” profitable.

The distribution grid plays a key role in the energy transition, said Ivan Perisa from energy supplier HEP, adding that the company is responsible for ensuring the supply of electricity to the entire system.

Croatia, the EU and most countries in the world are facing a very turbulent time

In Croatia, more than 20,000 power plants are connected to the distribution grid. These are mostly small plants connected at low voltage levels, including households with solar panels, which also makes the necessary flexibility of the system to absorb this energy a challenge, asthe grid was not built for this type of generation, says Perisa.

Croatia, the entire EU and most of the world are facing a very turbulent time in the energy sector as the transition from fossil fuels to renewables is unprecedented, said Robert Fabek of the Hrvoje Pozar Energy Institute.

The share of renewable energy in gross direct consumption is 35% depending on the year, and Croatia is doing relatively well in this respect, considering its high share of renewable energy, he said. As far as energy-efficient buildings are concerned, there is still a lot of room for improvement in insulation, he added, noting that trends in the use of biomass for heating are more favourable.

The biggest challenge is the transport sector, where 99% of energy comes from fossil sources.Croatia needs to make “enormous progress” to increase the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles, and later hydrogen-powered vehicles.

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