The Slovenia Times

Slovenian-Japanese smart tech project enters new phase


In the first phase, the EUR 50m project, co-funded by the Economy Ministry, focused on smart electrical grids in the areas covered by the electricity distributors Elektro Celje and Elektro Maribor.

The goal was to create a more reliable energy supply and include more dispersed sources of energy.

The second phase will be all about smart communities. The development of advanced solutions will focus on efficient energy use in urban communities, mainly in Ljubljana and Idrija, and the use of batteries for emergency situations.

Representatives of the Slovenian and Japanese sides said they were happy with what has been achieved so far. This was echoed by outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar. "High-tech projects such as NEDO will enable Slovenia to rank among the most advanced countries," he said.

He noted that the government had worked to reduce energy dependence and promote efficient energy use. "Smart grids will further increase this efficiency," he added.

Cerar believes the NEDO project is the start of a long-term strategic cooperation between Slovenia and Japan, "which we've already upgraded with some investments".

Japanese robotics giant Yaskawa is building a new robot factory in Kočevje, while Japanese Sumitomo Rubber Industries group plans to build an elastomer production plant in Logatec near Ljubljana.

The importance of such investments was also stressed by Japanese Ambassador to Slovenia Keiji Fukuda. He added that the NEDO project opened particularly many opportunities in renewables, where output is hard to predict, which is why the role of smart grids and advance technology is crucial.

The memorandum on cooperation in the NEDO project was signed by the Slovenian grid operator ELES and the Japanese electronics giant Hitachi on 25 November 2016.

The event marking the end of the first phase of the project was also attended by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who said measurements for 830 households in the Ptuj area included in the smart grid indicated electricity savings of up to 30%.

This on average resulted in electricity bills that were 20 euro lower than before, while the optimisation also increased the grid's reliability by 50%, the Economy Ministry wrote.


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