International Conference SUNNY DAYS on May 25-26 on Brac Island

Source: eKapija+ Sunday, 21.05.2023. 11:53
(Photo: Obnovljivi izvori energije Hrvatske)
The international conference SUNNY DAYS 2023 will be held on May 25-26 in Bol on the Island of Brac. This event, dedicated to the development of solar energy projects, is backed by the European Commission, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, SolarPower Europe, the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets of Croatia, the Ministry of Agriculture of Croatia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). With 400 registered participants, there is still demand for following the program, which features over 60 lecturers and panelists, the organizers announced.

Applications are still open, and you can apply HERE.

eKapija is one of the media sponsors of this conference of importance for the whole region.

The patrons, the partners, the numerous sponsors and the great interest in taking part in the conference confirm that the use of solar power is the most important topic for a quicker realization of energy independence.

Croatia and the neighboring countries have great potential for the use of solar power. In fact, the unused solar potential in this region is among the best in Europe. However, the share of realized solars in Croatia is still below 1%.

The aim of the European Union to achieve 45% of renewable energy by 2030 will result in a considerable growth of solar projects. However, it’s key to implement the measures which ensure that the growth can happen, such as resilient power grids, simplified permit issuance, qualified workforce, resilient supply chains and a stable regulatory environment which can attract investors.

In what way can we change everything that needs to be changed in order to accelerate and strengthen the development of solar projects in line with the set national, but also European, goals? That is just one of the questions that will be discussed at the SUNNY DAYS conference. What kind of a contribution to reaching energy independence can be made by agri-solar power plants and how they can help agriculture mitigate the consequences is a topic to which the conference is giving special importance, so, following the panel Agri-Solar Power Plants for Agricultural and Energy Production, an expert round table will be organized for additional education and all the questions that agriculturists want to ask about this topic.

Solar power has great potential for the development of energy, but also the economy, it supports decarbonization and helps reduce the dependence on the import of energy. Although its development in Croatia is slower than expected, the number of solar power plants on the roofs of households, but also companies, is increasing day after day. In order to reach energy independence by 2030, around 2,500 MW of solar power plants are needed, which could produce 3 TWh of electrical energy in one year.

The European Commission advocates the development of special “go-to” areas where the issuing of the permits for RES projects will be completed within a year and that is one of the topics at the conference. The mapping of these areas in Croatia was started by the Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (RES Croatia) and that will be discussed at the panel. All financial institutions in Croatia are ready to support the financing of large and small RES projects, but when it comes to the number of investments, big ones like the EBRD and the EIB stands out. They will present their experiences with the financing of solar projects in Croatia and the region.

In the European Union, nearly 66% of electrical energy from solar power plants was produced at the consumption location, which confirms that this sector is giving a considerable contribution to the development of solar energy projects. Therefore, the development of solar installations at the consumption locations is another topic at the conference.

An important part of the conference will be dedicated to energy challenges in the industry. To clarify, the industrial and entrepreneurial sector suffered the biggest blow from the energy crisis last year, so it is increasingly turning to purchasing green energy through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) – long-term agreements on the purchase of renewable energy directly from the producers. These agreements, the EU claims, play a key role in the development of renewable megawatts and new RES projects. Furthermore, they help the industry meet the climate goals and achieve carbon neutrality. How they are prepared and carried out and what their benefits are will be presented at SUNNY DAYS.

The development of solar energy will also require an accelerated connection of new power plants to the grid, as well as the development of the grid capacities ready for taking them in. Whether and to what extent Croatia and the countries of the region are ready for an accelerated development of RES projects will be discussed by the participants in the panel about the regional development of solar energy, who come from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.

The implementation of the system of battery storage of energy, which can help remove numerous problems related to the produced surplus energy, will certainly aid a quicker development of solar projects. How important the role of energy storage facilities in energy transition is and in what way hybrid systems can participate in solar power plant projects are questions which will be answered at the conference.

Finally, everybody should benefit from green energy, and citizens should have information about how to get involved in energy transition and which benefits it brings. For a long time now, they have been actively working on establishing independent energy communities, coming up with ways of powering their homes with green, clean and cheap energy. Successful energy communities from Croatia, the region and Europe share inspirational stories about their activities at the conference.
(Photo: Obnovljivi izvori energije Hrvatske)

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