A new call for proposals for the implementation of operation type 4.1.3. “Exploitation of renewable energy sources” from the Rural Development Program 2014-2020 has been announced. The goal is to increase the independence of farms with regard to energy sources, and competitiveness by cutting production costs.
The increase of exploitation or renewable energy sources is one of the strategic priorities of the Republic of Croatia with regard to the production of energy products, energy safety and environmental protection. The co-financing of the building and equipping of facilities for the production of energy for own use from renewable sources contributes to the increase of effective energy use and promotes the supply of energy from byproducts and the use of such energy. The new call for proposals introduces certain simplifications for farms. First of all, there are the common rules for all the measures under the Rural Development Program. The call for proposals was also released for e-consultation prior to its publication, in order to acquaint the potential beneficiaries with the conditions of the call for proposals, prior to its publication. This call for proposals for the exploitation of renewable energy sources does not impose a limit on the number of projects by affiliated companies and somewhat alleviates the administrative burden of beneficiaries, thereby creating additional preconditions for the faster processing of grant applications. Moreover, in order to facilitate and improve the quality of project preparation, beneficiaries have the opportunity to develop projects in cooperation with an ESCO company (Energy Service Company – a service model on the energy market), that is, through operation type 4.1.3. The ESCO model represents smart energy solutions and the abbreviation is a globally adopted term for a company which offers the planning, execution and financing of projects related to energy efficiency. The goal of each project is the reduction of energy costs and maintenance through the installation of new, more efficient equipment and the optimization of energy systems. This ensures the repayment of the investment through the savings realized within several years, which can amount to over 50%, depending on the type of beneficiary and project. During the repayment of the energy efficiency investment, the beneficiary would pay the same amount of energy costs as before project implementation, divided into actual (reduced) energy costs and investment repayment costs.