Croatia expands renewables
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Croatia plans to boost the share of renewable sources in its energy balance, much like other European countries have done, and will use auctions to expand capacities.

    According to the GlobalData data and analytics company, the auctions will help increase the country’s installed renewable power capacity (excluding hydropower) from 1 GW in 2020 to 3.2 GW in 2030. That represents annual growth of 12 %.

     “Implementing renewable auctions is a positive step for Croatia’s renewable sector, largely because it will help achieve grid parity,” wrote Rohit Ravetkar, Power Analyst at GlobalData. The government aims to assign 2.26 GW of renewable power capacity through the auction mechanism. In February 2021, the government announced a second renewable auction for 400 MW of renewable capacity, which is expected to be conducted by the end of 2021.”

    Croatia’s wind power capacity now stands at 798 MW of wind power and solar power at.85 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacities, and the government is targeting 1.36 GW of wind to bring the total capacity to 1.78 GW by 2030 and 0.77 GW of solar for a total of 1.18 GW.

    Croatia has huge potential for renewable power, especially solar and wind. Experts expect that solar will take an increasingly large share in future auctions. But wind has an advantage in a country with relatively small land mass.

    “The setback with solar projects is that they require a large area of land,” Ravetkar wrote. “The installation of 1 MW solar PV plant requires four to five hectares of land, which is difficult to manage in a small country such as Croatia. One solution is installing floating solar PV plants in the Adriatic Sea to avoid land utilisation by utility scale solar PV projects.”

    Croatia had previous plans to install solar power installations on rooftops of more than 3,000 buildings with a total capacity of about 100 MW – and investment of nearly $67 million. Panels are to be installed by both private and state companies and by individuals.

    The country intends to complete a transition to renewable energy sources by 2050. Croatia’s solar capacity per capita totals 17 Watts compared to 500 watts in Germany and 100 watts in Slovenia. The largest solar power station in the country has a capacity of 3.5 MW on Vis.

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