The way towards a 100% renewable heating and cooling – From local to European: National Round Table – the Croatian perspective

10 February 2022
The Croatian National Roundtable was organised by EHPA on the 10th of February 2022. The speakers, providing their vision for 100% Renewable Heating and Cooling in Europe and outlining the main challenges in achieving this goal, with a detailed focus on the work being done in Croatia (in terms of examples, projects, funding, technology, SWOT analysis, economics and development goals).

Dan Stefanica opened the webinar, welcoming the attendees and introducing the panel. He gave an overview of the RHC Platform and how to participate in current and future activities. This was followed by a very relevant presentation given by Christos Fragakis, Policy Officer, European Commission (DG RTD) on the new EU Missions : Climate-neutral & smart cities. How this initiative ties in with others, the main elements of the programme and its paltform, what advantages are offered to the cities that submit their applications, short results (377 submissions from all member states, totalling 18% of the population of the EU), mission labels and how they encourage future investments and grants. As well as an overview of calls that are part of the Missions.

This was followed by a moderated panel discussion by Boris Labudović, dipl. ing., Executive Editor, that used his extensive experience at EGE Magazine to summarize and introduce the audience to the overall reach of RHC technologies in the country. The first speaker was Marina Malinovec Puček (Lead Expert, Energy institute Hrvoje Požar, Department for energy efficiency) that explained in detail the current heating and cooling energy demand in Croatia. This being based on data from the annual country report on energy, with an emphasis on the final energy consumption for heating and cooling (divided into households & services) and adding to it, the impact of the Revision on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) on the sector.

The perspective was added upon by Luka Boban (HUDIT (Croatian Heat Pump Association) Secretary / Postdoc, University of Zagreb) that looked at the challenges (e.g. economy and demographics) and opportunities (e.g. activities in building sector, subsidies) for larger uptake of heat pumps in Croatia.

Additionally, Davor Bošnjak (Head of Intraday planning and trading services, HEP-Trade d.d., Member of HEP group) presented the opportunities and risks of 100% renewable heating and cooling for HEP’s portfolio optimisation. Focusing on the complexity of planning, responsibility and balancing particular to the Croatian power system and how heat pumps present an ideal opportunity for additional energy storage in the power system.

Lastly, Hrvoje Galičić (Advisor, HBOR (Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Management Board) talked about the particularities of funding and the opportunities that the RHC sector can take advantage of currently and in the future. Particularly, the financial instruments HBOR is offering to Croatian entrepreneurs, small and medium scale enterprises and craftsmen concerning projects that include renewables and energy efficiency. What are the conditions that need to be met in order to obtain an access to such funds and what the HBOR expects from such projects. Also showcasing a few successful examples of such financing and what makes them profitable

Recording of the event available HERE