Slovenia’s PV capacity tops 259 MW, net-metering expected to support more growth

The Slovenian solar market has been growing at a slow but constant pace over the past four years. According to figures provided to pv magazine by the Slovenian Photovoltaic Association (ZSFV), the country has seen the addition of about 10 MW of new PV capacity each year from 2013 to 2016.

At the end of 2016, Slovenia had reached a cumulative installed PV capacity of approximately 259 MW. Most of this was installed in 2012 (122 MW), 2011, (54 MW) and 2010 (37 MW) under the country’s FIT scheme, which expired at the end of 2013. In 2013, however, only 10.7 MW of new PV systems was installed.

Primož Tručl from ZSFV explained that, after the FIT scheme was closed, the government introduced a tender mechanism for solar and renewables, which was never implemented. The government, in fact, has failed to allocate financial resources for the tenders planned for the past three years, and no tenders have been held.

The Slovenian government, however, has finally allocated €2 million ($2.1 million) for the 2017 tender. Highly efficient PV installations will compete with wind power projects in the auction.

What is keeping the Slovenian solar market alive is a net-metering scheme introduced in late 2015, Tručl said. The scheme is open to PV installations of up to 11 kW owned by individuals or small-sized business. The association has asked the government to include collective solar projects in the scheme and the Virtual net metering (VNM), a bill crediting system for community solar.

Tručl believes that approximately between 20 MW and 30 MW of new PV power could be installed in Slovenia in 2017. “Net-metering was implemented in December 2015, but consumer confidence has increased only recently,” said Tručl.

Solar is currently covering over 1.5% of the country’s electricity demand. Thermal and nuclear power still covered 41.9% and 37.5% of demand in December 2016.

In order to reach its EU targets, Slovenia must cover 25% of its electricity consumption by 2020. Fortunately, hydropower plants were able to cover 19.7% of demand in December 2016. In 2015, renewables were able to reach a share of 23%.