LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), April 5 (SeeNews) – The combined installed capacity of photovoltaic power plants in Slovenia jumped by 23 megawatts-peak to 31 megawatts-peak in 2010, an official from the local solar industry association said.
Because of a bigger-than-planned feed-in tariff cut implemented in January, all major solar power projects in Slovenia will start with a delay of several months, Matej Gustin from the Slovenian Photovoltaic Industry Association told SeeNews in an emailed statement.
Slovenia’s purchase price scheme for solar power producers envisaged 7.0% annual cuts in feed-in tariffs based on the prices in 2009. “But in January this year the purchase price was reduced by 20%. To attract foreign investors, the feed-in tariffs should be set higher. This year, the tariffs vary from 0.232 to 0.332 euro [$0.329-$0.471] per kilowatthour [kWh], depending on the installation’s specifications.”
The combined output capacity of solar power plants in Slovenia is 32.6 gigawatthours (GWh) per year. The small Alpine state, with a population of 2.0 million, produces 11,500 GWh of electricity per year with solar power accounting for just 0.28%, Gustin said.
The long-term development goals and trends in Slovenia’s energy system and supply are set out in its National Energy Programme. It defines the energy policies and strategic measures that the Slovenian government will have to implement to achieve its renewable energy sources (RES) targets. For solar power the target is 37 MWp of installed capacity by 2015 but that is likely to be revised this year. The target by 2020 is 139 MWp or 8.2% of overall renewable energy capacity.
Photovoltaics (PV) will have a relatively small role in helping Slovenia achieve its renewables targets as the country puts a much greater emphasis on hydro power, Gustin said.
In addition to feed-in tariffs, the regulatory incentives that are also available to investors in solar energy in Slovenia include operational support and bonuses.
“This support is allocated for net electricity production for which a certificate of origin has been received and which RES electricity producers sell themselves in the market or use for their own off-take, provided that the cost of producing this energy is greater than the price that can be obtained for it in the electricity market,” Gustin said.
Government investment subsidies covering up to 50% of the cost of a PV system are available to local farmers.
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