Slovenia’s New Govt.: Plans to Boost Renewable & Efficient Energy Use with More Infrastructure & Tax Cuts

By , 23 Aug 2018, 09:18 AM Politics
Slovenia’s New Govt.: Plans to Boost Renewable & Efficient Energy Use with More Infrastructure & Tax Cuts pixabay.com DavidRockDesign CC-by-0

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STA, 23 August 2018 - In a bid to make Slovenia's energy sector more efficient, the emerging government coalition will promote renewable sources of energy, chiefly water energy on the Sava river. Its environmental policy will, meanwhile, seek to keep Slovenia green but also attractive to sustainable investors. A green tax reform is also planned. 

The coalition will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and strive to make energy use efficient and energy supply reliable, according to the information obtained by the STA.

It plans to continue to support the use of renewables, a diversity of energy sources and an adequate level of self-sufficiency.

To use water more efficiently, it intends to close a concession deal with power utility HSE for power stations on the central Sava river, where three new facilities would be built.

Meanwhile, the Mura in the north-east would be protected, meaning that no power station would be built there, a move local environmentalists are bound to welcome.

The second reactor in the Krško Nuclear Plant (NEK), the country's only nuclear power station, is however not being mentioned.

Meanwhile, the state will also seek to make energy prices accessible and the energy sector competitive.

The coalition would like to adopt as soon as possible a sustainable energy concept, which has already been drafted by the outgoing Miro Cerar government.

A resolution on the energy concept has already been passed in parliament, while the draft energy concept has just recently been sent into public consultation.

To increase the share of renewables, investment into various renewable resources would be further encouraged and administrative procedures simplified.

The coalition intends to study the existing scheme of subsidising renewables to see if it is still feasible, and identify potential alternatives.

To avoid opposition by locals to new energy facilities in their environment, it intends to consult experts to see if the process of deploying new energy facilities could be transferred from the state onto municipalities when a project has no regional impact.

It plans to overhaul the system of incentives for energy efficiency, including those provided by the Eko Fund, focussing on making old building more energy efficient and making efficient energy use more accessible to marginalised groups.

Another challenge will be continuing the construction of a modern energy network and digitalising the sector.

The emerging government believes energy networks should be built alongside telecommunication and transport networks, so legislative changes are planned.

In the field of the environment, the coalition says legislative changes would seek to keep Slovenia a green country but also interesting for those who want to invest in sustainable businesses.

To efficiently fight climate change, it plans to implement a green tax reform, set a share of the GDP to be annually allocated for Slovenia's climate transition, and draft a timeline for the transition to renewables until 2030 by next June.

As for waste management, the coalition intends to adopt new standards for waste incineration, limit the use of plastic bags and some other plastic goods, reduce cosmetic items containing microplastics and take stricter measures to treat microplastics as a raw material.

The coalition also plans to change legislation to implement the constitutionally-guaranteed right to drinking water and to secure zero tolerance to polluters.

Commenting on the plans for the STA, NGO Umanotera welcomed the announcement of a green tax reform, which it considers a horizontal mechanism to implement the polluter-pays principle.

Umanotera also hopes the new government will "take action", since several of the planned measures have already been planned but not implemented by the Cerar government.

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