Croatia's coast turns to solar in bid to become energy-sustainable
Author: Daria Sito-sucic
As high electricity bills have closed most hotels along Croatia's Adriatic coast ahead of the winter season, the mayor of the Dalmatian port town of Makarska is making plans to make it energy-sustainable by turning to solar energy sources. "I think that (the) energy crisis is also an opportunity to speed up our plan for sustainable development in the next 10-15 years, based on solar energy," Zoran Paunovic told Reuters. Tourism officials say that increased electricity prices this year account for most of the sector's expenses which are projected to have twice exceeded revenues, and threaten to put in jeopardy the 2023 season. Tourism sector accounts for 20% of Croatia's national output and has only begun recovering from losses accumulated due to the coronavirus pandemic. EU member Croatia, which imports up to 40% of its electricity needs, aims to produce 60% of electric energy from renewable sources by 2030. It currently produces only 0.5% of electric power from solar plants despite 2,700 hours of sun estimated on its coast annually. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused the rise of prices across Europe, with energy prices sky-rocketing as the European countries struggle to become independent from the Russian energy.