Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workshop on Hvar, Croatia
Local authorities announce a 2-day workshop to improve awareness on energy solutions, as EU-funded energy saving project moves forward on the island.
Efforts to raise awareness on energy efficiency and renewable energy are being intensified on the island of Hvar with the announcement of a two-workshop, according to an official release from the Stari Grad Municipal website on October 13, 2011.
The island, best known for its excellent climate and celebrity draw - Prince Harry and Beyonce both made global headlines with their visits in 2011 - is the sunniest island in the Adriatic, with a reputed average of 2,724 hours of sunshine a year, a fact which has attracted the interest of the solar energy industry.
Energy Efficiency Workshop in Stari Grad and Hvar Town
The aim of the workshop is to provide training for residents, entrepreneurs and local government to raise awareness for better implementation of energy efficiency and energy sources, with the longer-term goal of moving the island to greater energy independence.
Key areas to be addressed by the workshop include improving energy efficiency in the building sector, the development of safe and cost-effective storage of electricity produced from renewable sources, and the use of renewable energies (including solar and biogas).
The workshop will begin on Thursday October 20 in Stari Grad with a workshop for representatives of local government and public enterprises, before an afternoon session devoted to entrepreneurs. The workshops on the second day will take place in Hotel Palace in Hvar Town.
The workshop comes at a time of rising utility prices in Croatia, as elsewhere, but it is not the only initiative taking place.
The Concerto Solution Project: 20% Self-Sufficient by 2020?
The island of Hvar is one of four communities taking part in an EU-funded project run byConcerto Solution, a European consortium of four communities from Cernier in Switzerland, Hartberg in Austria, Lapua in Finland and Hvar, with Preddvor in Slovenia enjoying observer status.
The aim of the project is to demonstrate that communities can become self-sufficient in thermal and electricity energy requirements for buildings. This is to be achieved through energy-saving measures, energy storage, and the production of renewable energy, while managing supply and demand and monitoring consumption.
The specific goal of the project on Hvar is to make the island 20% self-sufficient in its energy needs through self-sustainable renewable energy by 2020. The main strategies to achieve this goal include the introduction of photovoltaic plants and solar thermal modules, compressed air energy storage and energy production from biomass.
The issue of energy security is crucial for the island, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and its permanent population of 11,500 residents swells significantly in the busy tourist season, a fact which is certain to continue as the island's unique charms attract wider international attention.