Croatia has rich potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Although Croatia has made some progress in using its wind potential, solar and solar thermal are underused compared to the obvious potential in this very sunny country.
Croatia is in the north-western part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Croatia has a population of 4 021 000 people, and it covers an area of 56 594 km2. Capital and largest city is Zagreb and the spoken language is Croatian.
Oil is the main component (41.3%) of Croatia‘s energy mix. Croatia produces oil and gas but unlike most of its Western Balkan neighbours, it no longer has its own coal reserves, so the country imports 100% of the coal it uses.
Croatia has excellent potential for the development of renewable energy resources, currently the country covers 28,02% of the gross final energy consumption by renewable energy.
Croatia produces only about half of its own electricity, depending on hydrological conditions. In 2018, 58.6 % of domestically generated electricity came from hydropower, 10.9 % from coal, 17.4 % from oil/gas, 10.1 % from wind, 2.4 % from biomass and 0.6 % from solar.
Significant funds have been invested in the production of electrical energy from wind power, and solar power has the most significant potential for growth in the upcoming years.
Croatia is composed of three major geographic regions. In the north and northeast, running the full length of the upper arm of the Croatian crescent, are the Pannonian and para-Pannonian plains. To the west and south of the Pannonian region, linking it with the Adriatic coast, is the central mountain belt, itself part of the Dinaric Alps.
Two main climatic zones dominate Croatia. The Pannonian and para-Pannonian plains and the mountain regions are characterized by a continental climate of warm summers and cold winters. In the plains, temperatures average in the low 20s °C in June and in around 0 °C in January—although they can range from a low of −20 °C in the winter to a high of 40 °C in the summer. The central mountain regions of Lika and Krbava have slightly cooler summers and cold winters, with a milder climate in the valleys. The average temperature range is between about 18 °C in June and about −2 °C in January. Considerable rainfall, turning to snow in winter, is characteristic of the region.
Tourism is one of the main pillars of the Croatian economy, comprising 19.6% of Croatia’s GDP. Croatia is working to become a regional energy hub and is undertaking plans to open a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal by the end of 2019 or early in 2020 to import LNG for re-distribution in southeast Europe. The government has also sought to accelerate privatization of non-strategic assets with mixed success. Croatia’s economic recovery is still somewhat fragile; Croatia’s largest private company narrowly avoided collapse in 2017, thanks to a capital infusion from an outside investor. Croatia has experienced a lost decade in terms of economic catch up with the rest of the EU. Following a six-year recession and a moderate recovery, the volume of economic output only surpassed the pre-crisis level in 2019. Strong domestic demand is expected to remain the main driver of growth.
Unemployment: 8.07% (2019 est.) 9.86% (2018 est.)
Croatia has excellent access to shipping routes because of its long coastline on the Adriatic. There has been significant investment in highways and railways within the country in the past 20 years. Highways run between Zagreb and Split—a route also well served by rail connections—and between Zagreb and the Serbian border.