Currently in Croatia there are 34 MWe installed in 26 plants which produce 272 GWh/year in electricity.
The biogas sector doubled in 2016 which was the effect of changing the support scheme from feed-in tariff to market premium in early 2016.
Currently, 27 biogas plants with 27.78 MWe are in holding a contract with Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HROTE) and are eligible for feed-in system support.
The biogas quota is set to 70 MWe by 2020.
Since 2016, no new contracts were signed for any renewable energy plant since due to the lack of implementing laws of the new Law on Renewables.
In 2014, Croatia has fulfilled its 20:20:20 targets, except in biofuels.
During 2016, EIHP has trying its ways to implement the Intervention strategy (WP3) in the dedicated areas (Bjelovarsko-bilogorska County and Koprivnicko-krizevacka County) as the beginning of the project was market with the change of supporting system for renewables and lack of implementing legislation. Finally, the outcomes are:
- August 23rd 2016: Organised a Forum on the Ordinance on Renewables to familiarize with the proposed sections for biogas. The author of the Ordinance was presenting and it gathered representatives from all biogas producers, Biogas Association, Ministry of Economy (Energy), Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, HROTE, HERA, Extension service, Croatian Chamber of Economy or 38 representatives, in total
- EIHP BA team provided the amendments with consultations on the Ordinance.
- Negotiations with the Ministry of Agriculture to be included into organizing a new supporting scheme for renewables in agriculture under the Rural Development scheme
- Consultations at the Croatian Energy Agency (HERA) and Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HROTE) on biogas within market premium system with the support of M. Koettner (IBBK)
- Popularisation of anaerobic digestion as a way forward in manure management and biowaste treatment: appearance at the national TV: Dobro jutro Hrvatska! And Eko Zona
- Published two Newsletters
- Established a web platform to biogas stakeholders: Obioplinu.org
- Developed a permitting pathway for Bjelovarsko-bilogorska County for 30 kW centralised plants but the Ordinance is missing which hampers the implementation
The main crucial point was at the end of 2016 when it was decided to be proactive instead of waiting for legal environment to pursue a biogas project investment to be defined:
- Formed a “think thank” to investigate the possible directions of biogas market development
- Having two assumptions: 1) AD is beyond biogas and energy and 2) energy from biogas is not competitive at any energy market (electricity, heat, biofuels) and needs supporting scheme(s), two studies are underway to identify the tradeoffs of future biogas market in Croatia. Four main development directions have been identified:
- Pocket size on-farm biogas plants (9 -15 kW) with cogeneration unit
- Centralised municipal biogas plants (15-30 kW) with cogeneration unit
- Green marketing – FAB and fossil fuel companies investing in AD for biomethane
- Turning public waste companies to energy-waste companies according to the new Waste Plan (early 2017) for biomethane.
The main points to identify are: the size of each market direction (energy, investment, number of plants, employment), amount of subsidy needed and what the society gets in return.