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ELES Expert Consultation on the Challenges of a Sustainable and Green Transition

At yesterday's traditional Expert Consultation ELES, d. o. o., combined transmission and distribution system operator, ELES experts presented the future of the Slovenian electricity industry in the introductory part.

M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar, the CEO of ELES, explained at the beginning that the energy sector's challenges in the era of sustainable and green development will strongly mark the turning point and that the transition to a low-carbon society will be far from cheap. Investments in productive resources and strengthening and expanding the network will be essential. The untimely development of green hydrogen production, storage, and transport systems, as well as competitiveness, the management of electricity grids that will be able to handle renewable energy production facilities, as well as long-term spatialization processes, are risks that are being intensively addressed.

M.Sc. Uroš Salobir, Director of the Strategic Innovation Department at ELES, highlighted the problem of the density of production resources, which makes the development of electricity grids one of the key challenges.

In the following, the Director of Asset and Project Management at ELES, M.Sc Klemen Dragaš presented the development of electricity grids for the green transition and stressed that a systemic approach is needed when integrating large RES into the transmission grid.

The CEO of Operato, M.Sc. Andrej Souvent, presented Operato, whose mission is to empower power grid operators with solutions that improve operational safety and enable higher utilization of power infrastructure.

In the second part of the event on a roundtable entitled NEPN 2 – Reality or Desire? participated M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar, the CEO of ELES, . dr. Dejan Paravan, Chief Executive Officer at GEN energija, d.o.o., Tibor Šimonka, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, M.Sc. Stane Merše, Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency at the Jožef Stefan Institute, M.Sc. Mojca Drevenšek, president of EN-LITE Association for the Promotion of Energy Literacy, Taj Zavodnik, Head of the Energy Programme at the Environmental Organization Focus and dr. Miroslav Babić, Senior Engagement Manager at Indigo Consulting.

At the round table, M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar stressed, among other things, that there is no real alternative for JEK2 until technologies for converting energy peaks from renewable sources are sufficiently developed. With regard to the project to build a new nuclear power plant in Krško, dr. Dejan Paravan assessed that it is quite realistic that JEK2 will be connected to the grid before the end of the next decade if we approach the implementation of the project decisively and seriously. Tibor Šimonka expressed his support for the project and advocated that the referendum on JEK2 should be held as soon as possible, and not only in 2027 or 2028, as currently predicted. To achieve climate neutrality, it will be necessary to use all available resources, from hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal to nuclear energy while managing the use of energy and resources, Stane Merše said. Regarding the referendum, Taj Zavodnik stressed that it is imperative that both scenarios from the NEPN be evaluated equally in terms of the timing of achieving climate goals and in terms of their impact on emissions. M.Sc. Mojca Drevenšek estimated that this is partly due to poor communication and unsatisfactory energy literacy. Dr. Miroslav Babić pointed out that a fan of green transition measures is foreseen, but resources are not guaranteed.

The program as part of the follow-up and the roundtable The sustainability of existing systems initially foreseened the guest Boštjan Špetič, Head of Global Data Strategy at Outbrain, Karidia Toure Zagrajšek, Coordinator of Sustainable Development at NLB, Ana Struno Bregar, Executive Director of CER and Katja Fašink, Chief Communication Officer at ELES. The discussion was aimed at defining and revising the definition of sustainability of existing systems, with Mr. Špetič and Mrs. Fašink intending to present the integrity of the harmful effects of communication on the environment, and to identify potential solutions, some already implemented in the international space, which would more efficiently upgrade existing social systems within the framework of communication, media, and education. Moderator Meta Pavlin Avdič, on the other hand, led the conversation with the interlocutors into the directions of operation, implementation, and communication of sustainability. Karidia Toure Zagrajšek described in detail the management of processes with sustainability risks at NLB d. d. and the challenges they face in changing corporate culture. Ana Struna Bregar spoke about effective partnerships for sustainable transformation, and the interlocutors agreed that change starts with the individual and that time for the latter is running out.

At the conclusion, ELES awarded Mr. Borut Hočevar with special recognition, who has been writing for the Environment and Energy (Finance) column and portal for the last decade and has spent the last thirty years in journalism, including as a journalist and editor of Dnevnik.

M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar, Peter Frankl, and the employees of ELES thanked him for years of exemplary cooperation and welcomed him with respect and kind thoughts on his new life path upon his retirement.


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