Solar panels for five families in Karlovac CountyOct 2, 2015
„We are implementing a project to install five solar systems in homes of the citizens from the Karlovac County who don't have electricity. These houses are far from the power grid and their connection to the system is not profitable. Therefore, we will enable them to receive electricity from sunlight. The government will develop a program so this project can be continued in 2016. We plan to install 100 solar systems, and the value of the project is estimated at HRK 6 million,“ said Mihael Zmajlović, the Minister of Environmental and Nature Protection, after visiting the family Kekić in Slunj where the solar system for electric energy was installed within the project “Electrification of rural areas using renewable energy sources”.
This is a joint project of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia. The project aims to provide electricity to households in rural areas that are far from the power grid. The pilot project started in the Karlovac County, and the plan is to continue it next year.
„Within the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund we have ensured HRK 4.5 million, or 80% of its value for the implementation of the project, and the remaining funds will be provided by UNDP and the Karlovac County. The equipment in the pilot project that is being installed is from Croatian manufacturers. The co-financing of renewable energy projects creates a market for domestic companies that have opted for green technologies,” said Vesna Bukarica, Head of the Sector for Energy Efficiency of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
This approach which will allow homes to access electricity is based on usage of so called "island" solar systems, without connecting to the grid. Such systems generate electricity through photovoltaic panels and store it in batteries that will last up to three days in a case of bad weather. There are three typical systems planned, depending on the number of household members. The systems will allow users to use all the standard household appliances.
The package given to the households for usage contains the aggregator that is used for the production of electricity in the case of several foggy days or a longer period without the sun; energy-efficient refrigerator and a set of LED bulbs. One of the main criteria is that the household owners or co-owners live there permanently or most of the year, and that the household is more than 1 km away from the power grid.
„The rural electrification project is a „living“ proof of sustainable development in practice. On this way, families without electricity living in remote areas will have access to energy from renewable sources. The solution is a modern, environmentally sustainable and cost effective. With our work we strongly advocate comprehensive and systematic approach to the development that has people at the center, reduces inequality and poverty, uses new technological solutions, opens new jobs and protects the environment,” said Sandra Vlašić, Head of Office of UNDP in Croatia.
Solar panels that are being installed in five houses in the Karlovac County are produced in company Solvis from Varaždin. Other supporting equipment is manufactured by the company Infoton from Novi Marof.