Wind energy in Croatia: Acciona begins its first wind farm

It is the first Spanish company to develop a wind power project in Croatia. Of Acciona’s wind power development projects in 2011, 93% took place outside Spain.

Acciona Energy has started construction work on the 30-megawatt (MW) Jelinak wind park in Croatia, the first installation of this type it has installed in that country. The Company thus strengthens its international expansion and becomes the first Spanish wind power developer to open a wind park in Croatia.

Located in the region of Split-Dalmatia, in the north-west of the country, Jelinak will consist of twenty 1.5 MW turbines with Acciona Windpower technology. The project will produce 81 million kilowatt-hours a year, covering the electricity consumption of over 30,000 Croatian homes and replacing fossil fuels equivalent to around 48,000 barrels of oil.

The clean energy generated from Jelinak will avoid the emission of 77,841 metric tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere from conventional coal-fired power stations, with a cleaning effect on the atmosphere equivalent to around four million trees.

Through this first wind farm in Croatia, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, Acciona is taking a further step in the process of internationalisation of its Energy Division, which already owns and operates installations in 13 countries. In addition to the Jelinak wind farm in Croatia, Acciona expects to start building a wind farm in Costa Rica this year.

At the end of 2011 Acciona had 33% of its wind power capacity outside Spain (2,283 MW from a total of 6,920 MW). Last year, 93% of Acciona’s new capacity was installed outside Spain.

Acciona currently owns wind parks on four continents, in addition to those in Spain: America, with 622 MW in the USA, 556 MW in Mexico and 181 MW in Canada; Europe, with 150 MW in Germany, 120 MW in Portugal, 92 MW in Italy, 48 MW in Greece, 38 MW in Poland and 24 MW in Hungary; Asia, with 85 MW in India and 62 MW in South Korea, and Oceania, with 305 MW in Australia.
An emerging wind power country

Croatia offers interesting prospects for wind power development, given its high energy dependence, the large role played by fossil fuels in its electric power mix, and its forthcoming entry into the European Union (expected by 1 July 2013). This means that the country will have to align itself with the energy and climate change policies of the EU, which is committed to sourcing 20% of its final energy use from renewable sources by 2020.

Croatia currently imports more than 50% of its primary energy needs and over 25% of the electricity it consumes. Its electric power generation mix mainly consists of fossil-based energies (gas, fuel oil and coal) and hydroelectric plants, while the contribution of wind power and other renewables is incipient at below 2%.

Nevertheless, the 72 MW of wind power capacity installed in the country at present is set to grow considerably over the next few years, highlighting its great potential (particularly on the Adriatic coast). The Croatian Energy Strategy, approved by the country’s Parliament in 2009, plans for 1,200 MW from wind power in 2020 and 2,000 MW in 2030.

Wind power in Croatia

End 2004: 6 MW (- %)
End 2005: 6 MW (- %)
End 2006: 17 MW (+183.4 %)
End 2007: 17 MW (- %)
End 2008: 18 MW (+5.9 %)
End 2009: 28 MW (+54.5 %)
End 2010: 89 MW (+220.2 %)
End 2011: 131 MW (+47.2 %)