The Croatian government is providing €60 million for companies in the processing industry and heating sector to install front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter PV arrays, biomass projects, biogas-fired power plants, and battery storage installations.
This is the first public call in Croatia in which subsidies will come from the European Union’s Modernization Fund, which was set up in 2021 to help 10 member states to upgrade their grids and meet 2030 energy targets. The Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said the goal is for companies to produce energy for self-consumption, which should bring down energy costs.
Companies can secure between €100,000 and €2 million per project. Developers can apply for multiple projects, with the maximum amount per single applicant capped at €4 million. The ministry said it expects the investments to deliver 80 MW of renewable energy capacity and 20 MWh of energy storage capacity.
In addition, the ministry said it is also preparing to allocate €80 million of funds for investments in energy efficiency and high-efficiency co-generation in the processing industry.
The latest announcement closely follows the European Commission’s decision to refer Croatia, Hungary, and Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failing to turn the EU Renewable Energy Directive into national legislation by June 30, 2021. The directive, which was adopted in 2018, sets an EU-level binding target for 2030 of at least 32% renewable energy, among other measures.
However, Croatia announced its final National and Climate Plan (NECP) in October 2021. It aims at a 36.4% share for renewable energy by 2030 and investment across the energy sector, including hydropower, wind farms, solar plants, and hydrogen energy.
According to UK-based consulting firm GlobalData, Croatia is now on target to meet to meet this target, although its solar PV deployment has been tepid thus far. The country might only add 2.5 MW of new solar capacity in 2022, and another 19 MW next year, GlobalData said in December.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that Croatia had 309 MW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2021. GlobalData expects the country to reach 770 MW of cumulative solar capacity by 2030.
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