Dubrovnik, Croatia - Photo Credit - Albertoamaretto & Free Images - Pixabay
Welcome to the thirty-sixth edition of my weekly blog where I take a closer look at the policies adopted by individual countries in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Particular attention is paid to the role that Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) research and technologies are playing in the drive to meet these requirements.
Having examined the role of urea in reducing CO2 emissions last week, I’m returning to my country-by-country analysis and this week I’m focusing on Croatia.
Croatia ranks fifteenth in Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the country’s highest ranking in the index since its inception in January 2006. One of the areas where the country has improved the most in the index over the past 10 years is air quality and more specifically air pollution in excess of fine particle matter (PM) 2.5. PM 2.5 in high levels can have adverse health impacts for the general public.
Paris Agreement Targets
Croatia accepted its EU effort sharing target of reducing its emissions by 7% of 2005 levels by 2030. The EU climate leaderboard devised by carbon market watch ranks Croatia in 20th position in comparison with its EU peers’ efforts towards reducing emissions. The leaderboard cited Croatia’s reluctances to go beyond its domestic target of 7%, its lobbying for greater leniency towards the inclusion of land use loopholes in its target and a softer starter point as reasons for this ranking.
According to the latest energy statistics published by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics over 50% of electricity produced in September 2017 was sourced from hydropower plants. Fossil fuel-fired plants and wind power accounted for the majority of the remaining balance with 30% and 10% of the overall figure respectively.
4% of electricity produced during quarter September 2017 was at plants powered by renewable fuels, meaning that 15.5% of electricity production was sourced from renewables. This represents a 3% increase from 2012 when the renewables portion was 12.5%. Back then Croatia set itself a target of generating at least 20% of its electricity from renewable sources, so the country is slowly moving towards this goal.
INA (Industrija nafte, d.d.) a Croatian oil company whose majority stakeholder is the Republic of Croatia has implemented an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project at its gas fields in Ivanic Grad and Zutica. The test run was successfully completed in 2014, 56km of new pipeline and two compressor stations will be built to supplement the existing 85km of pipeline from Molve to the gas fields.
EOR is a process where CO2 is injected into partly depleted coal and oil well seams. The CO2 helps remove fuel from small hard to reach seams and takes the place of the previously lodged fuel. This is a more efficient way of extracting oil from the ground as it reduces drilling and energy costs. It also means that the injected CO2 is stored where the hard to reach fossil fuel had once resided underground.
Croatia has increased its air quality performance over the past 10 years, signed the Paris agreement and has accepted its individual country target as part of the EU’s effort sharing decision. Croatia can do more, however, for example, it should see its 7% emissions reduction target by 2030 as a conservative goal and surpass it. Generating at least 20% of all electricity produced from renewable sources by 2020 is another realistic target given the country’s natural resources (coastline, sunny climate etc.). Exploiting EOR processes can also help reduce emissions from oil and gas exploration.
Next week’s blog will profile Switzerland and their efforts to meet their CO2 emissions reduction targets.
If you liked this article you might enjoy reading some recent articles in the series:
Week 35 Urea: using carbon to boost crop yield
Week 34 Singapore: sticking with Paris and switching to natural gas.
Week 33 New Zealand: Cows and cars could cost Kiwi economy NZ$14.2b in carbon credits