What: COMPILE partner ZEZ organised the “Good Energy Tour” event

Where: Croatia

When: 19th – 30th November 2021

The Croatian COMPILE partner Green Energy Cooperative (ZEZ) is starting 2022 with bold aims for solar. One of them is continuing its solar adventure across Croatian cities – the Good Energy Tour. The second edition of the event was held between 19th and 30th November last year. With the idea to promote solar energy for personal consumption and encourage public policies supportive of solar, in the past two years ZEZ has traveled across 22 Croatian cities. With free support in utilizing solar offered to each city visited, ZEZ wants to impact the use of Croatia’s solar potential.

The highlights of the Good Energy Tour are free educational workshops for citizens. Through these workshops, led by the lecturers owning a solar PV power plant themselves, citizens have a chance to learn about the costs, installation requirements, administrative process, opportunities for co-financing, and get personalized advice. “It is possible to utilize solar energy in every part of Croatia, and we want to help citizens to do it in a way that will be as profitable as possible for them. We are very glad that a lot of participants expressed satisfaction with the amount of information and the level of details they are provided with during these workshops” explains Ms. Kristina Lauš, Communications Manager at ZEZ.

The event is oriented towards the local level to increase awareness of the benefits of using solar energy among the general public but also to encourage the perception of solar energy as a local resource that can boost local economies. Cities-hosts of the Tour are selected through a public call. In addition to free educational workshops for their citizens, selected cities get access to the ZEZ’s free support in the development of solar energy projects. “With only 0,5% of electricity obtained from the sun, Croatia lags behind EU countries in using its solar potential. The Good Energy Tour is one of the initiatives to encourage its greater use. That is why the priority in choosing the cities-hosts of the Tour is given to those that stand out in their commitment and readiness to invest in solar energy” explains Ms. Lauš.

Despite the COVID-19-related challenges, so far, more than 1.000 citizens took part in the educational workshops, while thousands of them were reached through media campaigns following the Tours. Moreover, the direct work of ZEZ with the cities-hosts has led to public policies and projects supportive of solar energy. For example, in collaboration with ZEZ, the City of Pula has run an additional campaign to assess the readiness of citizens for investment to budget financial support to them for 2022. Four other cities-hosts have also budgeted their support to citizens for the year ahead, while six cities-hosts have partnered on a joint project focusing on investments in solar energy for public buildings.

“Efforts we are putting into encouraging investments in solar energy through the Good Energy Tour are slowly but safely bringing visible results. For the year ahead, the plan is to expand to an additional number of cities throughout all Croatian regions” concludes Ms. Lauš.

The Good Energy Tour is organized in collaboration and supported by: Energy Cities and Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Europe, Croatian Association of Cities, Island Movement, EIT Climate-KIC RIS Hub Croatia and ZEZ’s Horizon2020 portfolio of projects: COMPILE, Nudge, AgroBioHeat, ReDream.

Full list of the cities-hosts of the Good Energy Tour: Varaždin, Križevci, Velika Gorica, Jastrebarsko, Karlovac, Vrbovec, Poreč, Pula, Pazin, Rovinj, Osijek, Čakovec, Prelog, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Grad Hvar, Slatina, Slavonski Brod, Pleternica, Zadar, Zaprešić and Ivanić Grad.