The potential to increase renewable energy in Slovenia is significant. The country enjoys abundant sunshine, its forest areas (58% of the country) are a major resource, and it has an existing network of hydro power plants. After a period of stagnation in the hydro power plant network, a EUR 1.3billion project to build a chain of ten hydro power plants is envisaged on the middle course of the Sava river. If the project comes to fruition, the electricity production from RES will be increased by 1TW, which amounts to 10% of current total electricity production in Slovenia.
As certain regions in Slovenia are windy, opportunities for construction of wind power plants exist. Three are planned in the Eastern region of Slovenia by the investor Dravske elektrarne Maribor d.o.o., with a total capacity of 46MW and 122GWh annually, as well as another project being developed by Stiria Invest.
The main obstacle on the path towards building new hydro and wind power plants are NGOs and locals, who oppose the construction of such power plants. Recently, the government identified the development of hydro power plants in Mokrice and on the Sava river as a priority. Moreover, recent changes in the law restricted the influence of NGOs in the process for obtaining building permits.
Slovenia is also in the final stages of adopting the Energy Efficiency Act, which sets out measures to promote and increase energy efficiency, particularly to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, achieve security of energy supply and boost the use of renewable energy sources.
There are many (co)financing opportunities for investment in the energy sector, especially in renewables. In addition to tenders for the feed-in support scheme, which are published around twice a year, additional co-financing mechanisms are available. Loans by SID Bank, the Slovenian development and export bank, are available to public sector and ESCO companies for the energy renovation of public sector buildings. Eco Fund, the Slovenian Environmental Public Fund, provides several options for obtaining non-refundable monies for investment in energy efficiency.
It is expected that new opportunities will arise in the near future, following the adoption of the aforementioned National Energy and Climate Plan.