The Concept of Sustainable Energy Facilities Within the Slovak Republic

The Slovak Republic, as a member state of the European Union, has to follow European strategies, plans, and programs. In the frame of the Energy Sector, the “Green Paper: A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy” (COM 2006) can be considered as a leading document. According to this document, renewable energy is already the third electricity generation source worldwide (after coal and gas) and has the potential to grow still further, with all the environmental and economic advantages that would follow. For renewable energy to fulfill its potential the policy framework needs to be supportive and in particular to stimulate increasing competitiveness of such energy sources while fully respect­ing the competition rules. Although some sources of low carbon indigenous energy are already viable, others, such as offshore wind, waves, and tidal energy need positive encouragement to be realized. The full potential of renewable energy will only be realized through a long-term commitment to develop and install renewable energy facilities.

How is the Slovak Republic prepared to use sustainable energy sources? In July 2004, the Government approved the document “Progress Report on the Develop­ment of Renewable Energy Sources, including the Identification of National Indic­ative Targets for the Use of Renewable Energy Sources.” According to this document, based on Slovak natural and economic conditions, it is realistic to produce electricity from renewable energy sources at approximately 5.9 TWh in 2010. Then, in 2006, the “Energy Policy of the Slovak Republic” was approved by resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 29 from January 11,2006. Under this policy, the obtainable ratio of all the renewable energy sources had to share in the overall electricity production at 19 % (5.9 TWh) in 2010, 24 % in 2020, and 27 % in 2030. Biomass is considered to be the most promising renewable source for heat and electricity production.

The energy policy was the starting point for the development of electro-energy, the thermal power industry, the gas industry, extraction, processing, and transit of oil, coal extraction, and the use of renewable energy sources. It defined three objectives:

1. Safeguarding, as effectively as possible, a secure and reliable supply of all forms of energy in desired volume and quality;

2. Decreasing the share of gross domestic energy consumption in gross domestic product—reducing the energy intensity;

3. Ensuring the volume of energy generation that would cover demand on a cost – effective principle.

To achieve the objectives of energy policy, 11 fundamental priorities were set in “Energy Policy of the Slovak Republic” (Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic 2006). To achieve point 8, “Increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the generation of electricity and heat with the aim of creating adequate

Table 7.1 Conservative scenario Republic

for the use

of renewable

energy sources (RES) in

the Slovak

Type of RES (total joules, TJ)

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

Biomass

31,000

48,000

66,000

85,000

120,000

Solar energy

300

1,000

6,000

14,000

20,000

Geothermal energy

200

1,000

3,000

4,500

7,000

Hydroenergy

18,000

20,000

22,000

23,000

24,000

Wind energy

300

x

x

x

x

Energy waste

200

x

x

x

x

Total amount

50,000

73,000

100,000

130,000

175,000

Share of RES in total energy consumption (%)

6.4

9.0

12.0

16.0

21.0

x, no increase is expected; 1,000 TJ = 278 GWh (in electricity) Source: Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (2008)

Table 7.2 Optimistic scenario Republic

for the use

of renewable

energy sources (RES) in

the Slovak

Year

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

Type of RES (TJ)

Biomass

31,000

50,000

74,000

90,000

120,000

Solar energy

300

3,000

12,000

22,000

37,000

Geothermal energy

200

2,000

7,000

10,000

14,000

Hydroenergy

18,000

20,000

22,000

23,000

24,000

Wind energy

300

x

x

x

x

Energy waste

200

x

x

x

x

Total amount

50,000

78,000

120,000

150,000

200,000

Share of RES in total energy consumption (%)

6.4

9.5

14.0

18.0

24.0

x, no increase is expected; 1,000 TJ = 278 GWh (in electricity) Source: Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic 2008

additional sources in order to cover domestic demand,” many documents were established. As the most important, we mention here the “Strategy of Higher Usage of Renewable Sources of Energy” (Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic 2007) and the “Energy Security Strategy” (Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic 2008).

The future of using renewable energy sources in the Slovak Republic is illus­trated in Tables 7.1 and 7.2, which represent the so-called “conservative” and “optimistic” approaches. To achieve both the proposed numbers the Slovak Repub­lic had to build and still has to build new power stations based on renewable energy sources.

The evaluation of expected impacts on the environment and sustainable devel­opment, resulting from the new developed power stations, is governed in compli­ance with the relevant legislation. The environment is also affected by the development of related networks and systems. Therefore, the development and placement of new system should be located especially in areas where a sufficient system and network is already present. The development of new facilities and the modernization of existing energy facilities should be realized only under the rule of law, the implementation of recommendations and comments from the environment impact assessment process: Act No. 24/2006 Coll. on environmental impact assess­ment, Ministry of the Environment, and according to the decision of authorities.