The Slovenia Times

GZS urges immediate aid to businesses over high energy prices


Ljubljana - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) has once again called on the government to immediately help businesses cope with high energy prices. It said on Friday that businesses were still waiting for a government aid scheme and for a decree that would introduce compensation for indirect costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

The GZS proposed an aid scheme a while ago, but the government is still studying it, while it could be understood at last week's meeting with government officials that it would be prepared, the GZS president and director general, Tibor Šimonka and Aleš Cantarutti, said in a written statement on Friday.

The chamber expects the decree that would regulate refunds of indirect costs of greenhouse gas emission to be adopted as soon as possible, the pair said after the GZS strategic council for energy transition discussed energy prices.

The council called for strategic decisions in energy policy, saying they had all too been often postponed in recent years, while noting that Slovenia remains completely unprotected against the vast proportions of the ongoing pan-European energy crisis.

It criticised lengthy siting procedures, which it said resulted in a standstill in energy investments. The council believes it will not be possible to reach the goals set for renewables or efficient energy use by 2030 in 2040 if legislation is not changed to prioritize the siting of buildings that are in the public interest.

The GZS said Slovenia lagged behind in "construction of solar power stations, hydro power stations and wind farms while not enough is invested in distribution networks".

The long delays result in the loss of domestic know-how, related services and supplies, the GZS said, adding the issue should be addressed "seriously and expeditiously".

The chamber would also like to be part of a consortium that would draft a new national energy and climate plan, which it believes should be prepared as soon as possible.

"The crisis has shown that neither electricity nor other sources of energy can be taken for granted," it said adding that for a green transition, it is not enough to promote economic energy use and self-sufficiency, or to be mindful of the need to take decisions which are easier to delay.

"More should be done to raise awareness and encourage the use of green sources of energy, green ways of behaviour and green technologies," the GZS said, adding that higher energy bills alone will not be enough to finance the green transition.


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