European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is in Croatia on 29-30 January as part of the Energy Union tour. The Energy Union is the EU's strategy to ensure that European citizens have access to secure, affordable and clean energy.
The Vice-President will meet Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, and the Minister of Environment and Energy Tomislav Ćorić, in addition to members of the Croatian parliament. Their discussions will focus on the preparation of Croatia's National Energy and Climate Plan for 2021-30, the development of its internal energy market, and its role in regional energy cooperation, including the Central and South Eastern Europe Energy Connectivity (CESEC) initiative. The Vice-President will also give a keynote speech at a conference on 'The New Croatian Energy Strategy' and participate in a Citizens' Dialogue that will focus on the Energy Union and the benefits it can bring to Croatia.
Croatia is benefiting from the EU's Trans-European Networks for Energy strategy, aimed at improving the energy infrastructure linking EU countries. Several Projects of Common Interest, which will help to make this happen, are being planned,including high-voltage transmission lines between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and between Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia. Another PCI, a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Krk, is set to receive over €100 million of EU funding. The terminal will allow LNG imports from a wide range of sources, improving security of energy supply in the region.
Croatia is already exceeding its renewable energy target of 20% for 2020 – its current share is 28% – thanks to its large hydro-power sector. However, more efforts will be needed to meet its target of 10% renewables in the transport sector: in 2016, renewables accounted for only 1.3% of transport fuel.
Furthermore, Croatia is on track to overachieve its 2020 target for limiting greenhouse gas emissions in sectors not covered by the EU's Emissions Trading System by a very large margin (23 percentage points).
Prior to the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:
I am pleased to see that Croatia is already achieving its 2020 targets for renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, thanks not least to its strong hydropower sector. I encourage it to further develop its renewables industry, and also to make additional efforts to meet its energy efficiency target. The EU's new Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative, announced as part of the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, will be able to help finance the energy efficient renovation of buildings in Croatia. The EU is also financing the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal at Krk. This will help to diversify sources of energy supply in Croatia and the wider region and make its energy markets more competitive. Croatia's story is a testimony to the Energy Union's impact on the ground. It has already fulfilled its 2020 targets for CO2 emissions, renewables and energy efficiency, although the latter's potential should be tapped further. Moreover, Croatia's energy security is being gradually strengthened, in particular thanks to the regional cooperation under CESEC as well as a prospective Krk LNG terminal. What the Energy Union means for Croatia will also be a central theme of my interactive discussion with students in Zagreb.
As part of the 2017-2018 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Portugal, Estonia, Belgium, Romania, France, Finland, Luxembourg and Greece. Upcoming dates and more information on the tour are available here.
26 January 2018