The 3rd international event of FIRESPOL (Financial Instruments for Renewable Energy Investment) partner countries was held last 8th of May in Split. The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, as the project implementing authority in Croatia, organised a workshop for the representatives of the partner countries: Spain, as the Project Team Leader, Germany, Latvia, Ireland, Poland, and Croatia.

FIRESPOL seeks to boost the local community and private investment in renewable energy sources (RES) by introducing improvements in the management of operational programmes which will break the financial barriers that are currently stopping the investment in the RES sector.

The leader of the FIRESPOL project team in Croatia, Suada Mustajbegović from the Fund, pointed out the following advantages: “Participation in this project will help Croatia develop the programmes for the upcoming 2021 – 2028 period, and define the requirements and priorities in the RES sector, as well as the possibilities to finance the projects by combining grant funding with the financial instruments,” said Ms Mustajbegović. Through its programmes, the Fund is co-financing the purchase and installation of the systems using renewable energy sources. This year as well, the Fund is planning to launch public calls through which it will co-finance the systems for using RES in households, and for which approximately HRK 50 million have been allocated.

The workshop dealt with the examples of best practices in the use of energy from renewable sources, and the methods of financing these projects. One of the examples is Spain, the FIRESPOL Project Team Leader, and Spanish representative, Cosme Segador Vegas, director of the Extremadura Energy Agency (AGENEX), pointed out: “FIRESPOL aims at promoting renewable energy sources with public and private financing schemes, moving towards innovative financial instruments or complex grant schemes. So, FIRESPOL is now identifying good practices of innovative financial instruments and analysing the state of play of every region in order to define policy changes to promote the growth of RES.”

Mr. Segador Vegas pointed out that the most widely used technology in Spain is the photovoltaic solar energy because of its simplicity, which has decreased a lot in price and, above all, the solar resource is very constant and it can be used in many applications. The use of wind energy has also increased a lot over a 10-year period, almost three times.

Together with the representatives of the partners, the representatives of the Croatian institutions, companies, and banks also participated in the workshop in order to find as efficient as possible, but at the same time applicable solutions for the relevant circumstances with the aim of increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

The project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Europe programme.