The novelty is also that the end customer can participate equally in all electricity markets, independently or through aggregation.
Photo: Tom Dubravec / Cropix

On Friday morning, the day when the Croatian Parliament voted on the Electricity Market Act, Ivo Milatić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, presented the novelties introduced by this important law on green transition at the “Sunny Days” conference in Hvar.

The new Electricity Market Act implements all of the provisions of the Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/ EU (OJ L 158, 14.6.2019). After the vote in the Croatian Parliament, the adoption of the bill and its entry into force by the middle of this month, the adoption of bylaws will follow.

According to Milatić, another important law concerning the green transition is the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration, which passed the first reading and is being implemented in accordance with Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. The draft of this law should be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia at the end of October 2021, and its entry into force is expected by the end of November 2021.

What are the novelties of the Electricity Market Act?

“This law allows you to choose a supplier from the EU, just as someone from the EU can choose a supplier from Croatia. Free access to electricity markets is provided for all groups of customers, industrial and commercial, as well as households, so that everyone can benefit from market competition in the European Union”, Milatić said.

He added that common rules are being established for the generation, transmission, distribution and storage of energy, as well as the supply of electricity.

“The consumer is the focus, and must be protected. The category of active energy consumer is introduced, meaning that the consumer will be able to quickly switch between suppliers once everything is digitised. Another new concept being introduced is the citizen energy community, in order to enable all end customers to directly participate in generation, consumption or distribution of electricity. This has already started, citizens are uniting and sharing energy”, Milatić said.

Accordingly, new activities in the energy sector are being defined, such as: aggregation, energy storage, organisation of citizen energy communities and the role of a closed distribution system operator. Conditions of the tendering procedure for authorisation of new generation capacity are also determined.

Furthermore, as Ivo Milatić explained, the novelty is to ensure that household customers and microenterprises with an expected annual consumption of below 100 000 kWh have free access to at least one tool for comparing the offers of suppliers, including offers for dynamic electricity price contracts.

The novelty is that the end customer is able to access all electricity markets, either directly or through aggregation, in a non-discriminatory manner.

A smart metering system is also being introduced, Milatić said, empowering end customers by providing them with accurate feedback on their energy consumption or generation in near real time, enabling better energy management and consequently a reduction in their electricity bills.

One of the important innovations of the new legislative framework is the introduction of electromobility as a valuable component of the energy transition, as well as energy storage facilities, where electricity is stored by conversion into another form of energy. This includes pumped-storage power plants, electric thermal storage heaters, heat pumps, battery storage, hydrogen fuel cells and other devices where electric energy can be stored in some form and later delivered to the transmission or distribution network.

The State Secretary also clarified that rules on the independence of the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA) are being set out, as well as means for member states, regulatory authorities and transmission system operators to cooperate towards the creation of a fully interconnected internal electricity market.

With regard to authorisation procedures for new generating capacity, the Ministry will decide on a tendering process, with authorisation being granted on the basis of the best bid.

The ‘Sunny Days’ conference is the first conference dedicated to the use of solar energy organised by the Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia and the Island Movement, and is being held in the town of Hvar.

Source: Jutarnji list