The Slovenia Times

Clean Energy Backed by Thousands


Slovenia is a small country with relatively little industrial plants, but geographically has a lot of unused renewable energy sources like biomass, Pippa Gallop of CEE Bankwatch Network said upon presenting the petition. "If Slovenia can't do it, who can?" she added.

Despite the outpouring of support for the petition, Lidija Zivcic of Focus explained that the document dubbed "Slovenia: Start a Clean Energy Future", which urges the Slovenian government to shift the national energy programme from environmentally-unfriendly projects to renewables, was signed by only 130-150 Slovenians.

The national energy programme, which entered public debate in June, envisages five scenarios. All propose prolonging the lifespan of the Krsko N-plant and three of them foresee the construction of a new generator at the TES Sostanj coal-fired power plant.

The two NGOs therefore pointed out that none of the scenarios would enable Slovenia to reach the EU goals of transforming into a low-carbon economy. Measures for energy efficiency and renewables need to be strengthened and large projects that prevent transition to sustainable energy should be left out, Zivcic stressed.

Kopac meanwhile responded by saying that all five scenarios were based on intensive development of renewables and investment in energy efficiency and smart networks, as only renewables- and energy efficiency-based economies will be competitive in the long run.

However, possibilities for the use of renewables in Slovenia are limited by the fact that 37% of the territory is included in the Natura 2000 nature conservation programme. Slovenia and the EU will need to review this conflict in environmental policies, Kopac said.

Regarding the new generator at TES, codenamed TES 6, Kopac explained that the investor needs to prepare a new investment plan, based on which the government will decide on a state guarantee.

Moreover, the construction of a second generator at Slovenia's sole nuclear power plant will surely need to be put to a referendum, but this is at least five years away.

He further responded to the criticism of the Court of Audit that Slovenia's decision to build its own nuclear waste repository instead of a joint one with Croatia, which is a co-owner of the Krsko plant, was driving up the costs, making the current contribution rate for the project too low.

He explained that the current contributions would be too low even in a period of optimal economic conditions and added that a proposal to increase it got stuck in parliamentary procedure.


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