When the European Commission adopted the European Green Deal in order to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, Croatia’s energy company HEP saw the opportunity for strengthening its regional position as a green and sustainable company.
The Group published its 2019 Sustainability Report focused on the different directions taken by the company to meet the requirements set by both Croatia and the European Union.
“As part of our renewable scenario, our first acquisition carried out in 2019 was a purchase of an operating solar plant,” wrote Frane Barbarić, President of the Management Board. “We also commenced the erection of HEP’s first wind farm, which is the first new wind power plant in Croatia to produce electricity without a contract with HROTE (the Croatian Energy Market Operator) on guaranteed takeoff at an incentivised price. The solar power plant on the island of Vis was also undergoing construction in 2019 and the erection of the Cres and Vrlika solar power plants was prepared.”
According to its strategy, HEP intends to increase the share of renewable energy sources from 35 to 50 per cent by 2030. Also, it aims to continue activities related to sustainable waste management, biodiversity conservation and water management and protection. In this regard, the biggest risk was related to the increase in the price of greenhouse gas emissions. This risk was managed by purchasing emission units in quantities corresponding to CO2 emissions from HEP’s sources in the EU-ETS system at the same time as purchasing fossil fuels and by continuously monitoring changes in market prices.
Other than new plants, the company focused on modernising existing power plants, such the Senj hydropower system whose capacity has been increase by more than 400 megawatts (MW).
Mr Barbarić reminded that in late 2019, an EU Grant Agreement was signed for the project of replacing the hot-water pipeline in Osijek, while the European Commission approved a grant of 57 million euros for the Zagreb hot-water network revitalisation project. Moreover, business activities for Croatia’s transition to a low-carbon economy include an accelerated continuation of the e-mobility program through the installation of 64 new public charging stations.
Also, HEP recapitalised LNG Hrvatska, the company responsible for the construction of the liquefied natural gas terminal. As a new gas supply route, the LNG terminal will increase the security of supply for HEP and Croatia as a whole.
“HEP aims at becoming a centre of excellence and a regional leader in the development and implementation of advanced technological solutions to successfully respond to all market, environment and social challenges,” continued Mr Barbarić. “Relying on rich experience and knowledge of our experts, we will continue to build Hrvatska elektroprivreda as a key Croatian energy company of strategic importance for the national economy and the entire Croatia.”