Slovenia is on target to meet, and even slightly exceed, its 25.3% renewable energy target for 2020, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). This should cover nearly 40% of electricity consumption, with onshore wind responsible for 1.3%.
The national plan refers to just over 106MW of wind capacity in 2020. Installation will be uneven, with new plants in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2019. Renewable energy electricity production will total 6,126GWh, of which 191GWh will come from wind.
In EWEA’s opinion, the newly adopted feed-in tariff (€95.38/MWh), which limits support to projects up to 5MW, could hinder prospects for wind development.
The action plan indicates that Slovenia is not planning co-operation mechanisms with other member states, however rules are being drafted.
To create a favourable environment for the 2020 goals, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan envisages the following measures: continued support schemes for electricity production from renewable sources; a mandatory share of renewable energy in district heating; simplifying investment in renewable energy sources; incentives and financial mechanisms; and support for research, education and training.
Environmental concerns represent the main barrier for wind power projects, mainly due to the visual impact and potential risks to the wildlife, notably the lynx and the wolf. Many areas come under the Natura 2000, a network of protected areas. There is also strong opposition from sections of the public.
However, energy experts believe the possibilities of building wind farms in protected areas should be explored further, citing the possibilities for sustainable development. Environmental consultant Jure Leben claims that the effect of wind farms on flora is negligible, while the impact on birds varies from one study to another.