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October 25, 2021updated 21 Oct 2021 4:12pm

Auction mechanism will continue to drive renewable power market in Croatia until 2030

GlobalData's report provides insights into Croatia's power industry.

By GlobalData Energy

GlobalData’s latest report, “Croatia Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape” discusses the power market structure of Croatia and provides historical and forecast numbers for capacity, generation, and consumption up to 2030. Detailed analysis of the country’s power market regulatory structure, competitive landscape, and a list of major power plants are provided.

The report also gives a snapshot of the power sector in the country on broad parameters of macroeconomics, supply security, generation infrastructure, transmission and distribution infrastructure, electricity import and export scenario, degree of competition, regulatory scenario, and future potential. An analysis of the deals in the country’s power sector is also included in the report.

In 2020, Croatia adopted the auction mechanism to increase the share of renewables in its power mix. The first auction was launched in 2020 with Hrvatski operator tržišta energije d.o.o. (HROTE), Croatia’s electricity and gas regulator, floating a tender of 88 MW of renewable capacity. The introduction of renewable auctions is expected to take the country closer to its target of 1.36GW of wind power and 0.77GW of solar PV cumulative capacities by 2030.

Croatia’s huge renewable power potential has prompted the government to increase the share of renewable power in its power mix. The installed renewable power capacity (excluding hydropower) is expected to increase from 1GW in 2020 to 3.2GW in 2030, growing at a remarkable CAGR of 12%.

Under its National Energy and Climate Plan, Croatia aims at achieving cumulative installed capacity of 1.36GW in wind power and 0.77GW in solar PV by 2030. The country will comfortably meet these targets as wind power and solar PV capacities are expected to reach 1.78GW and 1.18GW respectively by 2030. The commencement of renewable auctions is a good sign for the renewable sector in the country as this will help in achieving grid parity. With these auctions, solar PV project pipeline will witness substantial growth as solar PV technology is anticipated to continue to take a larger share in upcoming tenders as compared to other renewable power sources.

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The Croatian Government aims to assign 2.26GW of renewable power capacity through the auction mechanism. In February 2021, the government announced second renewable auctions for 400MW of renewable capacity. This second auction is expected to be conducted by the end of 2021.

Croatia has huge potential to develop solar PV technology as it receives ample sunshine throughout the year. But the setback with solar projects is that they require large area of land. The installation of 1MW solar PV plant requires 4ha-5ha of land, which is difficult to manage in a small country like Croatia. The country may look to install floating solar PV plants in the Adriatic Sea to avoid land utilization by utility scale solar PV projects.

Croatia imports more than 50% of the electricity that it consumes. It has more than 30 interconnection lines at transmission voltage levels of 400kV, 220kV, and 110kV, representing a strong connection between southeast Europe and central Europe. Croatia generates most of its power from hydropower, meaning that power imports rise significantly during the time of droughts. Despite good hydropower potential, cumulative generation was adversely affected in 2011 and 2017 due to droughts and low water availability.

The country is planning to rapidly develop the renewable sector to meet the future power demand and reduce the total carbon emission simultaneously. However, renewable power is intermittent in nature, so conventional generators are required to take the base load of the country. Increasing the capacity of pumped hydro storage facilities and gas-based plants will secure the power demand of the country and can balance the fluctuation of renewable power generation.

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