Slovenian Feed in Tariffs in Place

By Paul Gipe


Slovenia, the first independent country recognized after the breakup of Yugoslavia, implemented a sophisticated system of feed-in tariffs on November 1, 2009. The feed-in tariffs are intended to help Slovenia meet its target of 25% renewables in electricity generation by 2020. Solar PV development has begun with as much as 10 MW likely to be installed in 2010.

The program is as sophisticated, if not more so, than that in other former east block countries and exceeds that of any North American jurisdiction except Ontario.

The small Alpine country of two million was one of the early members of the International Feed-in (Tariff) Cooperation (Council) that includes founding members Germany and Spain.

The Slovenian program is following the progression of its northern European neighbors and has moved from a simple feed-in tariff to a system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs like those found in Germany, France, Spain, and Switzerland. The new program uses a complex and highly differentiated system of tariffs and bonus payments.

The Slovenian tariffs are not unsurprisingly similar to those found elsewhere in the Europe Union.

Renewable generators are offered two tracks: fixed tariffs or “Guaranteed Purchase” for projects up to 10 MW, and “Operating Support” for all projects up to 125 MW. Operating support is the Slovenian version of the bonus payment system where variable costs reflect changes in the market price of electricity. The Slovenian Energy Agency determines the market price annually used in the calculation of operating support.

Generators can choose the type of contract for renewable systems up to 10 MW and CHP systems less than 1 MW except for CHP using wood biomass.

In comparison to Slovenia’s earlier feed-in tariffs, the revised policy

  • Increases the length of contracts to 15 years,
  • Increases the project size cap to 125 MW,
  • Increases the transparency and predictability of the tariffs,
  • Stipulates a review of technology costs every five years, and
  • Implements a seven percent Solar PV tariff degression through the year 2013.

Slovenia has taken the concept of differentiating tariffs by project size to a new level of sophistication and has broken down all technologies into four size categories

  • Micro: <50 kW
  • Small: <1,000 kW
  • Medium: 1-10 MW
  • Large: 10-125 MW

In addition, Slovenia offers bonus payments for biogas plants using high percentages of farm wastes and “operating support” CHP plants fired with wood biomass.

Slovenia has also introduced tariffs for wood-fired combined heat and power plants.

Borsen, Determination of the level of support for electricity generated from RES and CHP and the level of support in 2010, Ljubljana, 16th December 2009