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Croatian developers in last-ditch effort to sway grid rules

Croatian developers in last-ditch effort to sway grid rules

Date: July 28th 2023

Author: Montel

Category: En.vision

Topic: Electricity , Renewables , Energy policy

The Croatian renewables association OIEH sent a letter to the government on Thursday seeking a revision of new grid connection rules which they claim will have a severely negative impact, especially on local investors.

“We sent a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and all the relevant ministries, because the new grid connection rules take effect in September and urgent action is needed,” OIEH spokeswoman Elizabet Skrobo told Montel in an e-mail.

“The grid connection rules now impose huge financial costs in the initial phase of project development. When we calculate what has to be paid in that initial phase, the conclusion is that only big international firms, big investment funds and companies with immense financial capacity will be able to cover such expenses,” said Skrobo, noting that Croatian developers and those who depend on loans for financing would not be able to bear these initial costs.

“No bank will be willing to finance an investment with an uncertain return,” she added.

Croatian developers account for around 40% of the local renewables market.

Earlier this week, Hops rejected OIEH’s accusations in an e-mailed response to Montel, arguing that the new rules would actually facilitate the development of long overdue projects

In her e-mail, Skrobo claimed that while the EU considered the development of renewable energy projects both a priority and a matter of public interest, Croatia was sending out the opposite signal. She added that she would not be surprised if some investors now opt to invest elsewhere.

Additional uncertainty

According to OIEH, the long overdue grid connection price methodology is also increasing uncertainty, especially since it has taken Hops a year and a half to formulate connection rules in line with the market electricity law from late 2021.

“Currently, there is some speculation over the future fees. According to the latest announcements, we might be apprised of the connection price in the autumn,” Skrobo said.

The Croatian energy regulatory agency Hera is in charge of the price calculation methodology, and it stated earlier that it expects to complete the job by the end of summer.



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