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07.11.2018. The Fund has gathered today around 40 experts in different fields so that through the exchange of experiences and opinions it could determine the subjects of the new programme Energy and Climate Change worth €20 million. The Fund will be the Programme Operator, and it will be co-financed in the amount of €17 million by Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.
Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund has gathered today around 40 experts in different fields so that through the exchange of experiences and opinions it could determine the subjects of the new programme Energy and Climate Change worth €20 million. The Fund will be the Programme Operator, and it will be co-financed in the amount of €17 million by Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism. The programme of financing is based on the Memorandum of Understanding concluded with Croatia in July this year.
“The true value of the programme is not in the money. It is in the long-term partnerships between Norwegian and Croatian institutions and people", said in her welcome Astrid Versto, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Croatia. "Producing and using energy efficiently and in a sustainable way is not only a matter of practicality. With climate change and global warming issues, it has become a matter of necessity. This makes this programme very relevant to Croatia", concluded Ambassador Versto.
Velimir Žunac, State Secretary at the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds presented the role of the Ministry as the National Focal Point, which is competent for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, and expressed hope that the set goals would be implemented as soon as possible in cooperation with the Fund.
Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund Dubravko Ponoš expressed his pleasure with the number of participants. “The Fund is the vital institution when we talk about energy efficiency. We have invaluable experience gathered in more than 35.000 completed projects, as well as first-class experts, and that is the reason why we have been chosen as the Programme Operator. However, we believe it is important to exchange our experiences with other colleagues from different fields, regardless of whether they come from the public or the private sector. The aim of today’s discussion is to render our programme more specific and effective, and to ensure that the available funds are awarded to the best projects”, pointed out Ponoš, adding that the completion of the programming process is expected in late 2019.
As part of today’s consultations, the participants discussed numerous topics and pointed out the greatest energy efficiency challenges, with, with special reference to the building sector. Special attention was paid to the potentials of geothermal and hydropower, and the topic of energy security on islands. The discussion also touched upon the subject of changes in energy generation and demand, highlighting the impact of using renewable energy sources and e-mobility, and the possibilities offered by smart grids. All these topics will also constitute the concept note for the development of the bilateral relations and further cooperation between Croatia and Norway.
Today’s discussion will result in the preparation of the guidelines that will be used as the basis of the future national co-financing programme. After the adoption of the programme, the Fund will invite public tenders under which the potential applicants will have at their disposal €20 million until 2024.
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