Slovakia has approximately €122 million earmarked for developing renewable electricity production in the National Recovery plan.
The development of renewable energy falls under the Economy Ministry, which already closed the first call. Most of the €39 million, which were available, went to solar energy because environmental assessment usually takes longer for other renewable power plants, such as wind farms.
With the first bulk of the money, the state supported 90 companies, primarily industrial enterprises, but also retail chains or energy companies for which electricity production is the main earning activity.
Slovakia has had bad experiences with the support of renewable electricity in the past. In 2009, several oligarchs connected to the Smer-SD party of then-Prime Minister Robert Fico received favourable contracts.
At that time, the government allocated guaranteed feed-in tariffs to solar power plants for 15 years, almost ten times higher than the market price in the following years. This support was reflected by the state in the electricity bills that people still pay today.
The current government wanted to avoid a similar form of support because of old scandals. Therefore, under former Minister Richard Sulík, the Economy Ministry chose auctions as investment aid, with the money coming not from consumers but from the EU.
The ministry at first wanted to divide €18 million among the interested parties. However, it later increased the amount.
“A number of high-quality projects were submitted to the Ministry of Economy that met all the conditions. In view of this, to support the maximum number of them, the Ministry has increased the allocation of the call to €39 million,” said Mária Pavlusik, a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry.
(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)