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Slovakia

Slovakia

Europe 2020 targets - Slovak Republic

Rapid growth is needed over the next ten years. The Slovak Republic estimates that it will have 350MW of wind capacity and annual electricity production of 560GWh from wind energy in 2020. Yet, Slovakia may be seen as lacking ambition — the European Wind Energy Association estimates that 800-1000MW could be installed by then. Peter Stibrany, president of the Slovak Wind Energy Association SAVE, notes that development on many potential sites is limited by environmental restrictions but nonetheless believes 600MW would be realistic.

Yet Slovakia has only 5MW of installed wind capacity, according to SAVE, and none has come online in recent years. Indeed, the average annual growth rate since 2005 has been just 1MW; this will have to soar to 35MW until 2020 but near-term prospects are not promising.

"Wind is not favoured in Slovakia and for now it has been completely stopped," says Jana Togelova, a lawyer with the CMS legal network in Bratislava. Togelova says that a condition for receiving a building permit for a wind farm is possession of a so-called compliance certificate from transmission system operator SEPS. However, SEPS has ruled out issuing any certificates for wind or solar facilities in 2011 and will reassess the situation at the end of the year.

SEPS and the Slovak government, which has focused its efforts on biomass, are worried about the grid’s ability to absorb both wind and solar power. Daniel Futej of Slovak law firm Futej & Partners points to plans to strengthen the grid. "As usual, it is a question of financial resources, which, in these times, are scarce," he says.  

New law could boost wind

Hope for wind could come from a new renewable energy law now being prepared, that is designed to help the country meet its national action plan objectives.  

An incentive framework exists on paper, which envisages a feed-in tariff of €80.91/MWh for all energy produced by wind facilities up to 15MW. If SEPS agrees to give the go-ahead to wind projects, Stibrany believes that a significant amount of capacity could be installed in a very short time. "There are projects that are basically finished," he says. SAVE is committed to helping the nation show investors that it is serious about its renewables targets, and believes the republic must start to tackle grid concerns and allow these projects to come online.

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