Solar PV Sector In Croatia Limited To Rooftop Systems

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The solar PV sector in Croatia is comprised almost entirely of small-scale rooftop systems, owing to a lack of industry/investor interest in the development of larger solar projects (as opposed to wind energy projects), according to recent reports.

Based on the most recent figures released by the country’s energy market manager (HROTE), installed solar PV capacity there hit 30.3 MW at the end of October — with most of that figure being composed of rooftop projects in the range of 10–30 kW.


That number represents a big increase over earlier years — the country possessed only 89.72 kilowatts of solar PV capacity at the end of 2012 — but is still exponentially lower than the growth rate seen in the country’s wind energy sector. This disparity is largely down to differences in investment, development funds, and incentives.

Recent months have seen slightly larger rooftop solar projects enter development — these still aren’t utility-scale plants, though, being mostly in the 200 to 300 kW size range.

Croatia’s current solar energy goals entail that it will install at least 52 MW of solar PV capacity by the year 2020 — this is in contrast to the country’s goal of installing at least 1.2 GW (1,200 MW) of wind energy capacity by the same year. A significant difference in goals, and an especially interesting difference when you consider that the European country actually is quite well suited to solar energy exploitation.

Based on the policies of the government there, these trends seem unlikely to change, as the feed-in tariff there is unmistakably geared towards the development of household-scale systems, nothing larger.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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9 thoughts on “Solar PV Sector In Croatia Limited To Rooftop Systems

  • Expensive solar for rooftops, where it competes with the retail rate – which it largely manages to do around the world. Cheap wind for utility scale projects.

    Yep, seems they got the balance about right. Even the ratio solar to wind seems reasonable based on their relative costs.

  • Whole Dalmatia (coastal part of Chroatia) will be wind+solar powered it is just a question of time, they have excelent solar resources and windy mountain passes just above the coastal plain. All in country which has to import 1/3 of its electricity consumption.

    • The import figure is a bit misleading though in Croatia’s case.

      A large part of the imports (340MW) are from the Krsko nuclear power plant, which was built during the Yugoslav period as joint venture between Croatia and Slovenia. Today, the plant is on the territory of Slovenia so its output is counted as an import even though the plant is jointly owned by both countries.

      If that is taken into account, Croatia imports under 20% of its consumption. That’s still a rather high share of imports, but not exceptional by European standards.

      • It looked pretty impresive in summer when I watched dozens of wind turbines around Svati Rok pass and even more on the hills above Šibenik. There was nothing two years ago.
        I personally would recommend Croatians to invest to electric scooters to replace gasoline ones used for in-city rides. That smell and noise really annoyed me.

        • I’m not saying that they shouldn’t build wind turbines, far from it. Who could oppose such a cheap and clean source of electricity?

          All I said was that the 1/3 import figure is a bit off.

          As for the scooters: Croatia is still a rather poor country. Most people buy the cheapest (second hand?) scooter they can find, usually because they can’t afford a car. The cost of a brand new scooter, especially an electric one, is just too high for most.

  • a) Why would you go for CSP in Croatia’s climate? In areas with large seasonal variation and/or frequent overcast periods, simple PV tends to perform better.

    b) If you use CSP anyway, why Tulip or another small scale form? Croatia has a steady grid with few off-grid communities, so that can’t be it. Cost? Values found online go as high as 5-7.5 million USD per MW, considerably more than the larger scale installations deployed by the likes of Abengoa.

    Croatia is not a third world country with many small villages far from the grid. So why AORA’s Tulip concept?

  • With the recent post office related corruption scandal in solar just unfolding I am surprised it’s not even worse.
    We shall wait for the big EU players to crush any of our local attempts in business.

    Wiping their solar panels on our lands, from dust will be enough for us.

    • Well, you knew you signed up for free and fair competition when you joined the EU. If Croatian businesses provide products that can compete on quality and price with foreign offerings, they’ll thrive. Are you so pessimistic about your country that you don’t believe that possible?

      Most Eastern European countries grew prosperous under the EU through a combination of domestic discipline and EU aid. Croatia can do the same.

      • Correct.
        However we are our own worst enemy unfortunately.
        Never been capable putting petty personal jealousy and race for easy money aside for greater good.

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