Private companies lead renewables development in Slovakia

Several private companies have recently announced investments in photovoltaic installations. These include small and mid-size companies, energy-intensive factories such as Chemosvit Svit – a textile fibres producer, but also bigger ventures like the €30 million solar park near the southern Slovak city of Štúrovo. [Shutterstock/anatoliy_gleb]

High energy prices and poor perspective for the future have caused a boom in photovoltaic energy led mainly by private companies, which are trying to lower their dependence on Russian gas, Denník N reports.

Several private companies have recently announced investments in photovoltaic installations. These include small and mid-size companies, energy-intensive factories such as Chemosvit Svit – a textile fibres producer, but also bigger ventures like the €30 million solar park near the southern Slovak city of Štúrovo. The park should be able to produce 30 megawatts a day which would be enough to cover the needs of several factories.

However, solar energy is not only of increasing interest to companies but also to households, Ján Karaba, director of the Slovak Association of the Photovoltaic Industry, has said, adding this phenomenon started before the Russian invasion.

Electricity from small solar installations costs around €100 per megawatt-hour, and bigger installations are even more effective. By comparison, electricity from more conventional sources costs approximately €170-180.

Karaba admits that prices of photovoltaic panels also went up by around 20-30% since autumn, but this increase is still smaller than the overall increase in electricity prices.

According to Chemosvit CEO Jaroslav Mervart, companies are now ready to invest in green electricity sources but expect help from the state.

The economy ministry has confirmed that it is already preparing some calls that should cover part of the costs. The first one should be ready by the end of April.

Zsolt Bindics, a co-investor in the park in Štúrovo, points to Hungary investing more into green power plants than Slovakia. He added that the Slovak government does not provide enough information on when and to what extent it will release additional capacity for entrepreneurs.

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