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A Successful Year for the Slovenian Energy Sector – with a Positive Outlook for 2021

A Successful Year for the Slovenian Energy Sector – with a Positive Outlook for 2021

Date: December 14th 2020

Author: Alenka Lena Klopčič

Category: En.vision

Topic: Electricity , Natural gas , RES and EE , Energy policy , Economy

Energetika.NET’s latest video debate (in Slovene), which took place last week, focused on energy economics and vision, looking at the next steps for the Slovenian energy sector. This time, we were exclusively joined by members of the Slovenian Association for Energy Economics (SAEE), who recently had their monthly (online) meeting. The video debate featured the General Manager of Slovenia’s GEN energija, Martin Novšak, the General Manager of the Slovenian gas TSO Plinovodi and the President of the Energy Industry Chamber of Slovenia, Marjan Eberlinc, and the State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure, Blaž Košorok, who had just returned from the U.S. where the Slovenian minister, among other things, signed a memorandum on strategic civil-nuclear cooperation between the countries.

Energy news from across the pond


As part of the debate, Blaž Košorok shared some (energy) news from his working visit to the U.S., and reiterated that Slovenia’s energy future will be based on renewables (RES) and nuclear. According to provisional revised data, the share of RES in the country’s final gross energy consumption was 21.7% in 2019, which is 0.8 percentage points more than in 2018.

NEK jedrska elektrarna
When asked which phase of the permit granting procedure the ministry has reached with regard to the construction of unit 2 of the Krško nuclear power plant (NPP), the state secretary noted that progress in this regard is partly related to the adoption of a long-term climate strategy, adding that the procedure for extending the operating life of unit 1 until 2042 should also begin as soon as possible.

As noted by Martin Novšak, the renewed cooperation with the U.S. is very important, especially when it comes to new technologies, so the recent agreement between the two countries is crucial. When asked when construction (of the second unit of the NPP) could begin at the earliest, he said that the procedures related to the siting and the construction permit can take up to 5 years, followed by tendering procedures, which take about 2 years, and then the actual construction takes about 5 to 6 years.

Marjan Eberlinc further emphasised the challenges relating to the siting of energy facilities, whereas Novšak expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments relating to Slovenia’s Mokrice hydropower plant (and the government’s decision that public interest prevails over nature conservation).

New sources, new technologies, and a fresh momentum


In the future, renewable gas, be it in the form of hydrogen or synthetic gas, will be the dominant gas in the pipeline system, said Eberlinc, moving on to Slovenia’s wider energy landscape. He mentioned some of the gas TSO’s current projects, such as the pipeline to the TE-TOL gas thermal plant, which will help the plant replace coal with gas, and the Slovenian hydrogen project SLOP2G, which has applied for funds from the EU Innovation Fund with a decision expected in March 2021.

With regard to hydrogen, Novšak noted that it could also be produced with the help of nuclear. When asked about the potential use of small modular reactors which are being developed by many countries around the world (MORE), he said that with such technologies, we have to keep in mind that they are based on military technology, adding that we need to monitor not only the safety but also the economics of these projects (which GEN energija is following closely).
elektrika plin
Eberlinc also mentioned the results of the analysis of the Slovenian energy sector for 2019, which were recently discussed by the management board of the Energy Industry Chamber of Slovenia, stressing that the results are very good and that the sector has proved to be robust and reliable especially in this last year, which has been characterised by extreme situations, resulting from the pandemic. This was seconded by Košorok and Novšak, with the latter pointing to a number of new projects that Slovenian energy companies are now getting ready to launch. Eberlinc added that members of the country’s Energy Industry Chamber are preparing or planning to prepare at least EUR 2.5 billion worth of projects, which is a sign that the country is “ambitiously embracing the new perspective”.

The participants of the energy economics and vision video debate – this time joined by members of the Slovenian Association of Energy Economics (SAEE) – also shared their visions for the future, with the state secretary presenting the country’s legislative changes which are already taking place or which are on the horizon.

1The video debate is available (in Slovene) HERE.




This article is available also in Slovene.



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