Solar energy brings electricity and life to rural areas of Croatia


Ilija Radulović and Nada Hajdin together with their two daughters, live in a remote part of Karlovac County, where they breed cattle and produce milk. This would not be so strange, that until recently they haven't lived without electricity

„Without electricity and refrigerators, we could not even think about selling the milk because it would spoil in a moment, especially during warmer weather," says Nada Hajdin.

Thanks to the project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners they finally have electricity from renewable sources. Electricity will improve living conditions for this family, and also increase the opportunities for expansion of their livestock production.

Living in the dark, today, without a refrigerator or television for the most people is unthinkable. But did you know that in Croatia there are still around 50 permanently inhabited households in rural and remote areas, which even in the 21st century do not have electricity? 

Who lives in the dark? 

Without electricity are mostly households in secluded hamlets, several kilometers away from the grid network. In such conditions, bringing electricity is expensive and unprofitable because it is only for one or two potential users. 

Those who live in such households were, until now sentenced, not only to life without electricity, but to live without proper hygienic conditions and social and technological standards of living. 

Sun instead of the dark! 

To solve access to electricity, UNDP Croatia, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, College for Information Technologies and with the support of counties and municipalities carried out a project of Rural electrification.

The main aim is to equip inhabited households that are far away from grid networks with solar systems for production of electricity from renewable sources. 

Until now eight solar systems are set up, and the plan is to set up more than 50 solar systems for priority households.

For objects that are several kilometers away from the power network, the installation of solar island systems is up to thirty times cheaper than the building of grid networks to the facility, taking into account the total cost of ownership in 25 years, the lifetime of the equipment and system maintenance.

Results show that the model of electrification of rural areas using solar system is economically, socially and environmentally advantageous. The users were given access to electricity, while the local population gains the employment opportunities on the installation of systems for production of electricity from clean renewable sources.

The story of rural electrification began in Ajderovac, a small village in Lika, where the returnee family lived for years without electricity, while working in agriculture. And what the arrival of electricity meant for the family you can see in the following movie: Greetings from Ajderovac.