Croatia has enough offshore wind potential for exports – expert
Date: April 5th 2023
If Croatia exploits its offshore wind potential, it could become an exporter of electricity and green hydrogen by 2040, but this would require immediate action, an energy expert advocating the green transition said on Tuesday.In the northern Adriatic region of Istria alone that offshore wind potential surpasses 400 MW, he added.
Istria's regional energy agency is now assessing the viability of an offshore wind farm project with a capacity of 400 MW which could replace electricity production at the 210 MW Plomin coal-fired power plant.
“The first step for Croatia now is that decision-makers should recognise this [offshore wind] potential and incorporate it into energy policy plans. We don't have the development plans for this field in place yet,” Neven Duic, a professor at the mechanical engineering faculty in Zagreb, told Montel in a phone interview.
He added that his faculty co-authored a study on Croatia’s offshore wind potential and that the completed report should be presented next month.
“It is important to start working on offshore wind farms now, as such projects take 5-10 years to develop and are not expected to be economically viable before 2030,” he said.
Duic pointed out that Croatia's oil and gas company Ina is now taking wind measurements in the northern Adriatic Sea with the idea of turning exhausted gas wells into offshore wind farms in the future.
“The sea depth around Istria of up to 50 meters is suitable for offshore wind farms with a fixed foundation. In the south [of Croatia], the wind potential is even greater, but due to the [deeper] sea depth floating wind farms, which will not become economically viable as quickly as those with fixed foundations, are the better option and we would certainly need to install them far away from the shore to avoid harming the tourism industry,” Duic added.
Investor requestMeanwhile, the Croatian TSO Hops told Montel on Tuesday that to date it had not received any official requests from potential investors for a technical assessment of grid connections for offshore wind capacity.
“That is why the possibility of using electricity from offshore wind farms is not envisaged in our 10-year development plan for the power transmission system. Once such a request is made, we will undoubtedly respond,” Hops spokeswoman Nada Kolega told Montel.
This article is available also in Slovene.