Slovenia’s electric grid is going through one of the most demanding periods in history, according to what emerged during a conference of the Slovenian Committee of Electric Power Engineers. The biggest challenges it faces are digitalisation, lack of staff, green transition and investments.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Igor Papič said that the State and the sector will have to invest a lot in new technologies. The country will increasingly have to rely on renewable sources, above all photovoltaic and nuclear, he added.
“We are lagging behind considerably in renewables, the main problem being the development of energy storage. Parallel to developing the system, we must also complete digital transformation,” highlighted the Minister. “The young do not opt for careers in tech, which needs to change, also by a higher degree of inclusion of women.”
Marko Hrast, the president of the Committee of Electric Power Engineers and coordinator of Technical Support and Standards at ELES, said that global electricity systems are facing great change.
“Globally, this is the biggest connected system of infrastructure humanity ever built,” he said. “The system must be maintained and upgraded in a way that is least detrimental to the environment. This can only be achieved if the system is connected to all other systems.”
Aleksander Mervar, the CEO of ELES, presented last year’s results and forecast for the future. Last year, Slovenia imported 30 per cent of the electricity it used, mostly due to upgrades at the Krško nuclear power plant, shut-offs at the TEŠ thermal power plant and poor water conditions for hydro plants.
“Long-term import dependence forecast is inopportune for Slovenia, similar to other countries in the region,” he pointed out. “To reduce dependence on import, Slovenia will have to invest more in the sector.”