The Slovenia Times

Slovenia reiterates its support for nuclear in EU taxonomy


Ljubljana - Slovenia has reiterated is support for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU's taxonomy of sustainable energy sources after the EU Commission proposed this. "Slovenia believes nuclear energy will be needed to maintain low-carbon energy production in the long run, not only during the transition period," the Finance Ministry told the STA.

This comes after the European Commission unveiled the complementary climate delegated act this week, which includes, under certain conditions, specific nuclear and gas energy activities in the list of green technologies covered by the EU taxonomy of sustainable financing. The Commission's draft proposal at the start of the year already called for the inclusion of both, characterizing their roles as transitional.

Slovenia deems the latest step important, the ministry said recently, adding Slovenia would adopt its official position within the deadline set by the relevant regulation.

Under the regulation, the Council of the EU has four months to decide to oppose the act, subject to reinforced qualified majority of member states. This period starts from the date on which the Commission forwards the act to the Council. The same applies to the European Parliament, which also has the possibility to take a decision to oppose the act within four months, the ministry explained.

"Slovenia supports the inclusion of nuclear energy in the complementary delegated act as a source of energy in line with the taxonomy of sustainable financing. Nuclear energy represents a part of the green energy sources that contributes significantly to climate change mitigation and to the attainment of the climate neutrality goal," it noted.

For Slovenia, the most important aspect of the act is therefore nuclear energy, the press release says, stressing the importance of nuclear for long-term low-carbon energy production. For delegated acts based on the taxonomy regulation, Slovenia advocates strict compliance with the principle of technology neutrality, it adds.

The supplementary delegated act includes three types of investments in nuclear power plants. When it comes to Slovenia, what is key is the production of electricity in existing nuclear power plants whose lifespan will be extended.

This category involves safety upgrades and the extension of the life cycle of the first unit of the Krško nuclear power plant until 2043. Equally important are investments in the construction and safe operation of new plants based on best available technologies, which include Unit 2 of the Krško plant.

Meanwhile, investments in advanced nuclear technology projects with minimal nuclear fuel waste are not foreseen in Slovenia for the time being.

Viktor Vračar, director general of power utility HSE, considers the inclusion of gas and nuclear technologies in the taxonomy to be positive. In an interview published by the HSE on its website, he highlighted the role of adequate flexibilities regarding low-carbon sources in the process of coal phase-out.

According to Vračar, the technologies that will enable the green transition are the chain of hydro power plants on the Sava river, solar and wind power plants, and pilot projects featuring geothermal and hydrogen technologies. He believes that gas technology can also help Slovenia meet ambitious European and national climate goals and partially replace coal-fired electricity generation.


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