February 15, 2021 – Oikon CEO Dalibor Hatić was a guest on Croatian national television channel HRT 4 today where he, together with Aljoša Pleić from Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia, spoke about renewable energy sources and local Croatian communities.
What is the role of renewable energy sources in local communities and vice versa? Are RES good or bad for the environment? How important are they in socio-economic terms? Have fossil fuels become alternative energy sources? What is the link between agricultural land, quarries, rehabilitated landfills and renewable energy sources? And what is the future of RES in Croatia? These are the questions answered in the show by experts Hatić and Pleić. We bring you the summary below.
The role of RES projects is multiple. Such projects enable the state to produce domestic green energy and reduce the need to import energy, which in such cases is mostly not green, and by producing electricity from renewable sources we also meet the energy goals we set as a state and as an EU member.
Today, local communities have much greater funding opportunities, they are the main drivers for such projects because they are the first to see the benefits of such projects that are multiple. The utility fee they receive from such projects is quite large, but it is only a small part of the benefits. At the same time, such projects are developed on more remote parts of the country that are not close to cities, that do not have developed tourism or agriculture, so it is very useful for the local communities. They create new jobs and the local communities receive an energy rent from them, as well as sponsorships and donations for RES projects.
RES and agricultural development have huge potential for cooperation. There are already many examples in the world today where wind farms are placed on pastures and on some field crops where farmers collect a certain rent from them, so they are more economically viable. We also have, for example, biogas plants in close connection with livestock (waste biomass), and bio-power plants where excess thermal energy is used in synergy with greenhouses.
The COVID pandemic has accelerated the energy transition and encouraged countries to be more self-sufficient, so Croatia, which imports about 40 percent of its electricity, should work on it because it has a lot of potential. Croatia has ideal natural conditions for a whole range of renewable energy sources, not only wind and solar, but also geothermal, biogas and biomass. And we need to take advantage of that. A lot has changed in the last ten years and investments into renewable energy are increasing.
In cooperation with the local self-government, in the future, rehabilitated landfills and quarries, which are not usable for any purpose, could be used by installing solar panels on them. The same is possible with public parking lots.
Today, alternative energy sources are actually fossil energy sources, and not renewables. In the future, fossil fuels will be used mainly as sources of raw materials for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and RES will play an even greater role in energy production. By 2050, the EU has committed itself to the decarbonisation of society and the cessation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This is very good news because it will protect our water, soil, air and global health.