The Slovenia National Committee aims to promote sustainable energy development in Slovenia, as a part of the World Energy Council’s energy vision. As a member of the World Energy Council network, the organisation is committed to representing the Slovenian perspective within national, regional and global energy debates. The committee includes a variety of members to ensure that the diverse energy interests of Slovenia are appropriately represented. Members of the committee are invited to attend high-level events, participate in energy-focused study groups, contribute to technical research and be a part of the global energy dialogue.
Ivan Šmon won a PhD degree at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and MSc degree at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics in 2006 and 2016, respectively. In 2015 he also finished the Master’s degree of Business Administration program at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana.
After receiving a PhD, from 2006–2010, Ivan Šmon was employed at the Slovenian Ministry of the Economy as the Undersecretary, where he was creating legal framework for Slovenian energy supply system and he also represented interests of Slovenia internationally. In 2010 he joined SODO – Slovenian electricity DSO, where he stayed for three years. He was responsible for operation of the company’s technical department. Since May 2013, Ivan Šmon has been with Elektro Gorenjska – the distributor of electricity. Currently is CEO of that company.
Ivan Šmon is president of National Member Committee of WEC, vice president of the Slovenian Eurelectric section and member of the Eurelectric Board of Directors. He is also representative of Slovenia in CIGRE Study Committee C6 (Distribution systems and distributed generation).
Energy in Slovenia
The former Slovenian government, which resigned in March 2018, presented a material for public consultations on a National Energy Concept – the energy policy strategy. This complex strategy was strongly debated but there was no real agreement on a final framework.
Numerous reactions and responses to the public consultation process expressed the support and ambitions towards a low carbon energy sector and a low carbon economy. However, the questions about related costs and adequacy of natural resources needed for renewables were raised, placing future Slovenian Market Design, Energy Subsidies and EU Cohesion in the Critical Uncertainty domain.
In addition, the favourable subsidies for renewables and energy efficiency encourage energy selfsufficiency, small scale private and public energy projects, and new technology. Project on smart energy are in gradual ascent, especially in power distribution and transmission. Nuclear energy is consistently present in the energy mix as an important pillar of the near future energy mix, which could include natural gas as an alternative in decarbonisation of all sectors. In view of above, the new government expresses great interest to continue with balancing the country’s energy development.
Market Design: The energy market in Slovenia is as lively as the overall European energy market and it promptly adapts to the needs and challenges of consumers. The market is slowly leaving the traditional frameworks and adapting to the changing regulations and to the new rolls of the energy networks and system’s needs.
Energy Subsidies: Under the umbrella of the national scheme for subsidies (support scheme), state aid is provided to promote the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) and combined heat and power plants (CHP). This strategy is producing a positive impact on renewable energy production as well as the endorsement of new energy services and technologies in the entire sector.
EU Cohesion: The Slovenian energy policy is fully aligned with the European energy policy. Despite the fact that the national energy program was not adopted, national policy follows the Clean Energy Package i.e. renewable energy, energy efficiency, emission reductions, integration of energy infrastructures and a more integrated and effective governance. The lasting discussions in Slovenia over the years have shown consents and agreements on energy and environmental objectives within the European policy.
Energy Efficiency: The national policy for energy efficiency is robust and well designed as it is based on a transparent financial support scheme. It is attractive for companies, which use opportunity to offer a complete service for energy efficiency engineering. In view of these facts, energy efficiency will remain as one of the action priorities for Slovenia.
Renewable Energy: One of the top priorities of Slovenian energy sector is the growth of renewables participation in the energy mix and the utilisation the available natural resources in the country. Even though one third of electricity is produced from hydro, the future utilisation of hydro potential is under public debate and constitutes a government priority. The exploration of wind potential has started, although it requires additional efforts.
Nuclear energy is present in the Slovenian energy mix since 1980. The nuclear power plant Krško, was constructed as a result of a bilateral partnership with Croatia. The operation of the Krško nuclear plant is considered as one of the safest, which contributes to public acceptance of nuclear energy in the country. Despite this, the issue of radioactive waste deposit remains stumble between Croatia and Slovenia. Nuclear energy is the candidate to remain on of the future pillars of energy mix in the country.
With an evolving energy market, Slovenia has aligned its approach with the EU Clean Energy Package and provides subsidies for generation with renewable sources and CHP. The key priorities for the country are energy efficiency in all sectors, renewable energy, advanced energy projects as well as an accepted presence of nuclear power generation. Although one third of the electricity is generated from hydropower, there is a debate about its further utilisation in the future. Decarbonisation process in all sectors is underway; the natural gas is an option in this Energy Transition process. It is important that the Slovenian Energy Transition process keep a balance despite absence of a formal energy strategy. One of the methods for gauging the progress of Energy Transition is the World Energy Council’s Trilemma index, which helps to navigate national energy sector’s performance in relation to energy security, sustainability and equity.