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The Fund took part in the panel at the REXPO fair

27.11.2018. The 7th International Fair for Investment Projects, Rexpo 2018, had more than 2,000 visitors. As part of the fair, the Fund brought together experts in the field of energy efficiency and environmental protection to discuss the topic “Can Croatia’s experience and experts become an export product?”.

The 7th International Fair for Investment Projects, Rexpo 2018, had more than 2,000 visitors, foreign and domestic investors, experts, and business people. As part of the fair, the Fund brought together experts in the field of energy efficiency and environmental protection to discuss the topic “Can Croatia’s experience and experts become an exportproduct?”.

The reason for this topic was an article by Adrian Joyce, Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign that was published on the EUroactiv portal. In his article, Mr. Joyce compared the success of the Croatian football team with the achievements of the national energy renovation projects. The introduction to this panel was Mr. Joyce’s brief review of the role of the Fund, and specific features of our energy renovation programmes, which he believes could be applied even outside Croatian borders.

Through numerous energy renovation projects in the last few years, Croatia has revitalised its construction sector. He aim is to achieve the goals of energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is an obligation Croatia assumed as an EU Member State. Around 1100 projects are currently under way, which are related to the renovation of multi-apartment and public buildings, and energy efficiency in industry. This investment is worth around HKR2.5 billion, with HRK1.5 billion secured from EU funds. The ESCO model has become established in Croatia, and many projects are additionally co-financed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, explained Director of the Fund Dubravko Ponoš: “The implementation of these projects is only the beginning, and the goals we have set are ambitious”, said Ponoš, adding that we have a lot to learn from other countries, but that there are also numerous areas where Croatia can be taken as a benchmark.

Željko Uhlir, State Secretary at the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, agreed with him, and he announced that energy renovation programme will continue in the new programming period, pointing out the importance of nZEB construction in the future. Along with these results, Ivo Milatić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, mentioned almost 90 energy efficiency projects in industry, many of which comprise energy renovation measures. Dean Smolar, Director of the Croatian Green Building Council, emphasised the importance of having a quality energy strategy, which should be the basis for the programmes of financing. “Of course that in the preparation of the strategy we rely on the European directives, but it is important to pay special attention to the issues that are specific to Croatia”, said Smolar.

Ambitious goals have also been set in the field of environmental protection. The European Commission only recently adopted the new rules regarding plastic waste and in its directives it is promoting the establishment of a deposit system for returning PET and AL/FE packaging, which has been implemented in Croatia for a number of years. Therefore, the Croatian knowhow in these areas can be a useful path to other countries in the region to apply similar models in their environment, believes Aleksandra Anić Vučinić, an environmental expert.