The citizens of Croatia should not feel problems in the supply of gas and electricity this winter, nor should they face significant increases despite the energy crisis in Europe.
All actors in the Croatian gas market have repeatedly said that they have secured sufficient quantities of that energy source and that there will be no increase in prices until at least spring, and similar messages have arrived from Hrvatska elektroprivoda (HEP), which is the largest electricity supplier in Croatia.
In a recent press release, HEP pointed out that it has sufficient quantities of electricity for its customers from its own production and other sources, and that prices for households will certainly not change in the next few months.
According to the latest Eurostat data for 2020, for Croatian households that consume from 2,500 to 5,000 kilowatt hours (KWh) per year, the average price of electricity is 0.115 euros per kilowatt hour or 87 lipa, without taxes and duties.
As for the price of natural gas for households, it amounted to 3.9 euros per 100 KWh, which, according to Eurostat, places Croatia in the group of five EU countries with the lowest price.
Economic analyst and former Croatian Economy Minister Ljubo Jurcic does not expect Croatian citizens to be directly affected by the European energy crisis.
“If there is no greater force, there will be no shortage or increase in prices… Gas prices for citizens are locked until April next year, and that is a critical period for citizens,” Jurcic told the Beta agency.
The price of gas for households is regulated by the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA), and it has already been determined for the period from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Possible gas price increases are possible only in the spring, ie for the next regulatory year.
Unlike citizens and the vast majority of business entities, as Jurcic warns, large consumers who did not agree on the price of gas in advance could eventually find themselves in trouble, so now they have to buy it at much higher prices.
“As far as consumer prices are concerned, there will be no direct blow to the citizens. In relation to the prices of oil derivatives, the situation is fine for now, because the Government limited the price to a month in mid-October,” Jurcic explained.
He said the government would most likely extend the price cap on derivatives for another month, and then, if the price of oil rose, would negotiate sliding taxes.
According to official data, Croatia imports about 30 percent of the electricity it uses and about 60 percent of primary energy (gas, oil, coal), mostly from Russia, while part of the gas goes through the LNG terminal on Krk.
Jurcic pointed out that Croatia has a lot of hydropower, about 30 percent, and nuclear about 15 percent, while the rest are coal and gas thermal power plants.
On the occasion of the 1,000th issue of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin aimed at the countries of Southeast Europe, Beta broadcasts a series of articles on energy free of charge available on the portal www.beta.rs in Serbian and www.betabriefing.com in English.