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Powers of main actors in the Slovenian energy arena in Slovenia

Last update: 2022-02-13

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2022-02-13
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The energy policy is not oriented towards renewables as much as it should be. If one glances at the Slovenian NECP for the period 2020-2030, it can be seen that the plan envisages at least a 27% share of RES in gross final energy use, which was taken from Slovenia's Development Strategy. It should be noted that the 2020 goal for the share of RES in gross final energy use in Slovenia amounted to 25%. The Slovenian NECP plans only a 2% increase of RES in gross final energy usage in 10 years, which is among the lowest in the EU. This implies that RES are not such a high policy priority. Such an increase would be even lower than it was from 2010-2020. Furthermore, the 2020 target was not achieved by Slovenia - the share of RES in gross final energy use was around 21.5% in 2020. This casts even more doubt on the priorities of the Slovenian government. 

This is the consequence of the bond of governmental policymakers and two of the biggest energy companies in Slovenia. These companies are Holding Slovenske elektrarne d.o.o. and GEN energija d.o.o., both of which are 100% owned by the Slovenian state. HSE d.o.o. and GEN energia d.o.o. operate hydroelectric and thermal power plants in Slovenia. Additionally, GEN energija d.o.o. owns 50% of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement of Slovenia and Croatia. Production in Krško NPP amounts to almost 40% of electricity production in Slovenia, though half of the electricity belongs to Croatia. The two major energy companies have, together, around 90% share of the annually produced electricity in Slovenia (with the Krško NPP contributing somewhat less than 20% to that number, in accordance with international treaties and accounting principles). Knowledge of these two companies is in big projects and they want to keep their market share, so there is not a large enough focus on decentralised renewables from these major companies in Slovenia. Since there is not any other large player in the energy arena, the national energy policy is mostly going to be connected with these two companies. 

This is amplified by a two-way street, in terms of employment, between the Ministry of Infrastructure (competent authority for energy in Slovenia) and the major state-owned energy companies. Policymakers and high-ranking officials sometimes switch from a position in the Ministry to a position in a major energy company, and vice-versa. In this way, the major energy companies manage to keep their political power, while the government manages to keep its business interests. Any new energy players with a growing market share usually stop expanding owing to such harsh competition. A showcase of such developments is that, in July 2021, an energy permit was issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure to GEN energija d.o.o. for a new block of the Krško NPP. The permit does not specifically allow for building of the new block, but it enables the start of required administrative procedures for such an undertaking. Many members of the public have been calling for a public consultation, or a referendum, in order to decide the realisation of that project and the future of the energy mix of Slovenia.

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Affected technologies

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Solar power

RES-E PV ground-mounted


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RES-E onshore wind


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RES-E PV rooftop


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Competent authorities

For Powers of main actors in the Slovenian energy arena

Authority (Original name) Authority (English) Link
Ministrstvo za infrastrukturoMinistry of InfrastructureVisit

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