Currently, Croatia has relatively secure provision of energy supplies and if in the next few years it manages to develop competitive production sources, primarily of electricity, it will become a competitive country, create an environment for new investments and secure competitive prices for power, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat said on Tuesday.
"It is necessary to offer each entrepreneur certain comparative advantages in order to motivate them to make investments and one of these advantages is a competitive price for energy. At the moment, that is our strategic objective," Horvat said ahead of an "Energy Market Forum," organised by the Poslovni Dnevnik business weekly.
Horvat said that in the short-term as long as the market does not define the price of electricity, the state has to have a regulatory mechanism to make the energy price suitable for the economy's interest.
Before the (the outgoing) HDZ-Bridge government, we had had a government that simply increased tariffs over two years. I don't see why that tariff cannot just as easily be decreased with a political decision," Horvat said.
Asked whether it is possible to deliver on the promise of cheaper power, particularly electricity for citizens and enterprises, Horvat said that the situation in which a single supplier holds virtually 90% of the market and has achieved an enormous profit, makes it possible for electricity prices to go down.
We need to create a model by which profit can be shifted into new investments with the aim of developing competitive production units which will produce enough power to cater for the needs of citizens and enterprises. If we manage to achieve that then we can become an independent country in that regard, Horvat said.
Asked about a possible increase in the fee for renewable energy sources and Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic's statement that suppliers should bear the brunt of that cost, Horvat said that it seems that the system of renewable energy had entered into a dead-end street over the past five years.
"Renewable energy sources are the future but with a balanced combination of energy which requires various levels of production technology to be able to offer a competitive price per kilowatt," he said adding that anything that relies on subsidies but does not have a real market and real methodology to define tariffs cannot have any prospects.