There are 126 villages in Croatia, around 500 households, that are still waiting for the electricity distribution network to be restored since the war in the 1990s. One of those villages is Ajderovac.
“The milk that we produce, we cannot sell,” says Mileva Desnica, who lives in the small village of Ajderovac in Lika, Croatia. “We don’t have electricity for a refrigerator, so we can only store food in the cold room for a day or two at most.”
To help remediate this situation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) secured the installation of a solar photovoltaic system to provide energy for the community of Ajderovac, reports the official website of the UNDP.
The municipality of Gracac where the village is located was cut off from the energy grid during the war in the 1990s, and until recently, residents had to rely on diesel-powered generators and candles for lighting.
The cost of the pilot solar system in Ajderovac has proven to be three times cheaper than traditional re-electrification and demonstrates the potential for solar energy to provide cost-effective and environmentally-sound energy solutions for remote areas of the country.
“This project is an excellent way of demonstrating the potential for solar energy to provide cost-effective and environmentally-sound energy solutions for other remote areas of Croatia, including its many islands and mountainous villages,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Croatia Louisa Vinton.
“Croatia has infinite resources of sunshine, yet it has barely tapped the potential of solar energy,” said Ms. Vinton. “More than half of Croatia’s energy is imported, so not only is the country relying on harmful, high-carbon energy, it is in effect using its own resources to subsidize jobs outside the country.”