The Slovenia Times

Smart Grids as Development Opportunity


The conference, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and attended by some 160 representatives of business and academia, heard that opportunities for Slovenian industry in this area will be great, but that legal and funding issues will need to resolved.

European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik told the meeting that Europe has characterised smart grids as vital in the long-term for the transition to a low-carbon system for the supply with electricity.

"Smart grids encourage efficient demand, increase the share of renewable and diversified energy sources and enable the electrification of transport," Potocnik stressed.

He explained that more than EUR 5.5bn had been invested in Europe into projects related to smart grids in the past decade, although "the EU is still in the starting phase of the actual introduction of smart grids".

GZS president Samo Hribar Milic said that Slovenia needed a number of organisational and institutional changes to be able to make use of the opportunities involved in the development of smart grids. He again called for a financial push from the government to kick-start the economy and bridge the crisis.

Also urging against missing the opportunities emerging was Kresimir Bakic of the Slovenian Committee of Electric Power Engineers CIGRE - CIRED, who said Slovenia had enough knowledge and a good starting position, but needed "a competitive programme and a well organised environment for innovation".

The conference, which is still under way, also includes companies presenting their already existing smart grids solutions, as well as a panel on opportunities for Slovenian industry.


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