April 30, 2023 – Association XEnergy – Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition gathered leading energy experts in one place for the first time who presented 5 key guidelines for the successful implementation of the energy transition in Croatia but also emphasized the importance of adopting new regulations with the aim of achieving the energy and climate goals of the EU
After the European Commission proposed the Regulation governing the reform of the electricity market model in March 2023, before the European Parliament and the member states is the period of drafting a legal framework that should encourage greater use of renewable sources, prevent large fluctuations in energy prices, and make the industry cleaner and global more competitive. On this occasion, some of the leading Croatian experts from the public and private energy sector gathered in Zagreb at the round table “New models of the organization of the electricity market to accelerate the energy transition”.
A stable regulatory framework that will enable investment in electric power networks and the flexibility of the system and its users, the meaningful use of location criteria when calling for tenders, the removal of administrative obstacles for the development of energy sharing, the coordinated creation of strategic documents and the simplification of the issuing of permits, and the coordination of stakeholders in the implementation of public calls and tenders throughout the year is key to the successful implementation of the energy transition. Those are the five guidelines that emerged from the round table organized by the Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition XEnergy.
To achieve the EU energy and climate goals and to stabilize electricity prices, the member states must define concrete measures and activities, and Ph.D. Kristina Čelić, director of the Directorate for Energy at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, pointed out that the Croatian administration is working on this, and invited all stakeholders in the sector to get involved with proposals.
Members of XEnergy who participated in the panel discussion are Ph.D. Lahorko Wagmann, director of the Electricity Sector of Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA), Ph.D. Minea Skok, Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute, president of the Scientific Council, Tina Jakaša, Petrol, head of energy product development, Martina Biondić, secretary of XEnergy, Darjan Budimir, Croatian Energy Market Operator (HROTE), deputy director, Saša Jovičić, Wolf Theiss, partner, Antun Andrić, The independent Transmission System Operator in Croatia (HOPS), director of the market sector and Martina Vajdić, CROATIAN POWER EXCHANGE Ltd., market manager. The proposal intends to promote investments in renewable sources, encourage flexibility of consumption, facilitate energy sharing, increase protection against price volatility, strengthen the position of end customers on the electricity market, and improve the competitiveness of the EU industry, said Ph.D. Lahorko Wagmann.
Consumer protection from unstable and high electricity prices, ensuring the stability of market supply and systematically encouraging investment in renewable energy sources are key factors in the energy transition are the topics that were discussed on the panel.
“Extreme price volatility and short-term interventions may seem to slow down investment waves in renewable energy sources, which may consequently jeopardize the achievement of the EU’s decarbonization goals. The new electricity market model will increase the shares of wind and solar in the electricity mix, and will accelerate investments in flexibility, solid production capacities, and energy storage. All this should along with investments in the power grid, which will also be needed to face new system challenges, such as an even greater number of distributed energy sources, rapid response to demand, less predictable electricity flows with intermittent production patterns “, said Martina Biondić, secretary and one of the founders of XEnergy.
EU has had an efficient and well-integrated electricity market for more than 20 years, where the energy supply is ensured, the decarbonization process is encouraged, and consumers can realize economic benefits from the single energy market. The energy crisis triggered by the situation in Ukraine pointed to the need for rapid adjustment of the electricity market to better support the green transition and provide energy consumers – both households and businesses – with broad access to affordable electricity from renewable sources.
“In response to the new geopolitical reality and the situation in the energy market, the EU decided to drastically accelerate the transition to clean energy, which, among other things, implies a significant acceleration of the construction of renewable energy sources. The REPowerEU plan from May 2022 thus requires that by 2030, renewable sources make up 2/3 of electricity production. For end customers today, it is no longer unknown to produce electricity, but what we need to work on is to strengthen their active participation in the energy transition, to the mutual benefit of both the customers and the power system as a whole”, said Ph.D. Minea Skok, president of the Scientific Council of the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute.
The process of acceptance of the Regulation by the European Parliament and the Council, in which the Republic of Croatia has representatives, is expected in the following months.
“XEnergy has people with great knowledge and experience that we can offer Croatia in that process, in which women will also play a big role. The association will work to be a support for women, a mentor and guide at the beginning of their career, but also a kind of platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience”, stressed Nina Dusper Sušić, vice president of XEnergy, adding that the task of the association is to bring the energy sector closer to young girls and show them how it is possible to be successful in such a STEM industry thanks to the knowledge and support of the network with which they share the same values.
“The proposal of the new model instructs the members to define their goals and measures, therefore we believe that it is very important to immediately start thinking about and communicating the best solutions for the Croatian economy and end customers. With events like this, the XEnergy association wants to make its contribution through the discussion of important issues and challenges and thus help a sustainable and socially just energy transition”, stated Nela Vlahinić Lenz, president of the association XEnergy.
Laws and the regulatory framework, both at the EU level and in Croatia, should be able to follow all these changes for the system to be stable, efficient and flexible and to provide enough energy at optimal prices for end consumers. There is no doubt that this is an extremely current and important topic because market organization models will have a key impact on the accelerated integration of renewable sources and stable electricity prices, thus contributing to the green transition and sustainable development goals, the participants concluded.
Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition XEnergy is a non-profit organization that gathers all participants in the energy transition and encourages the affirmation of women in the sustainable development of the economy and society as a whole. It acts as a platform for strengthening the role and visibility of women in energy and other sectors through interdisciplinary networking and the synergy of the work of its members, and provides support to women from the private and public sectors in the field of energy transition through networking, mentoring, counseling and education.