The Slovenia Times

Demand for rooftop solar exceeds grid capacity

Prapretno, currently the largest photovoltaic installation in Slovenia. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
Potential investors have long complained about an increasing number of applications for rooftop solar getting rejected in Slovenia. Confirming the trend, the national electricity distribution operator SODO says a fifth of applications for self-supply have to be rejected because of insufficient grid capacity.

More than 19% of the 29,700 applications submitted last year were either rejected, or the investors had to opt for smaller capacity. In the first half of this year, the share grew to 22.4% of the 13,400 applications, show data that SODO shared with the Slovenian Press Agency.

There are two distinct types of solar in Slovenia, small self-supply installations whose owners do not receive money for excess electricity they generate and feed back into the grid, and large commercial installations that sell power to the grid.

Overall there were 39,700 solar installations connected to the grid last year with a total capacity of almost 900 MW, of which almost 90% were smaller rooftop installations primarily designed to supply their owners with electricity.

There were just 4,070 metered installations, though they accounted for almost half of the total photovoltaic capacity in the country, at 441 MW.

SODO had already warned in an investment plan back in 2020 that generating capacity was starting to "exceed the available capacity of the grid, several parts of which are already oversaturated."

Investments in the distribution network totalled €271 million in 2020 and 2021, but dropped to €116 million in 2022 because of lower network fees designed to keep energy inflation low, and because of longer delivery times for gear.

Under the existing development plan for 2023-2032, €3.5 billion is supposed to be invested in the network, of which €2.66 million in new construction and €872 million in reconstruction.


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