Slovenia: First renewable energy project approved

Local news, 27.10.2009

Within the framework of its contribution to EU enlargement, Switzerland has set aside CHF 3.7 million for a Slovenian project to encourage the use of renewable energy sources in various municipalities of the Primorska coastal region. The pilot project will enable the use of solar power and biomass and raise public awareness of the use of renewable energy sources.

Coastal region Primorska
A noise barrier along a motorway will be equipped with solar panels, and 32 public buildings that were previously heated with oil will be converted to biomass heating. © SECO

Slovenia attaches great importance to renewable energy, which currently accounts for around 8% of the country’s total energy consumption. The share of renewable energy is expected to increase even more now that the European Union has set its sights on a 20% renewable energy target by 2020. At present, Slovenia’s renewable energy comes almost exclusively from hydroelectric power plants. The pilot project will also demonstrate the potential of other renewable energy sources.

The total project costs stand at CHF 5.3 million. The municipalities concerned will pay CHF 1.6 million (30%) of these costs and the project will be managed, coordinated and implemented by Goriška Lokalna Energetska Agencija. Founded under the EU’s “Intelligent Energy Europe” programme in 2006, this non-profit organisation is committed to promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.

The Slovenian project is comprised of three sub-projects: a 600-metre long noise barrier equipped with solar panels in Šempeter Vrtojba, a Primorska-region municipality located along the motorway between Slovenia and Italy; the introduction of biomass as a renewable energy source in twenty selected public buildings (schools, kindergartens and two information centres in Triglav National Park), which should reduce the energy costs in these buildings by around 40%; and a public awareness campaign explaining the forward-looking nature of the project.