Key message
Neutral

The main source of renewable energy from agriculture in Slovenia is the production of electricity from biogas. The production increased from 0.04 kToe in 2004 to 10.67 kToe in 2011, then due to various problems of the biogas plant it fell to 6.6 kToe in 2022. It is also possible to use rapeseed oil for biodiesel production, but we do not have our own production in Pinus Rače anymore. The cultivation of rapeseed in the last two years has been below 3,000 ha, and the average yield per hectare is also low. Other sources of renewable energy from agricultural sources (bioethanol, straw, non-forest plantations of fast-growing tree and shrub species) are not yet being used.


The indicator "Production of renewable energy from agricultural sources" is defined by two parameters:

  1. Primary energy produced from agricultural sources (electricity from biogas)

  2. Agricultural land (surface) on which plants grow for energy production (rapeseed)

Charts

Figure KM24-1: Production of electricity from biogas, 2004–2022
Sources:

Borzen - slovenian Power Market Operator, calculations by AIS (2023)

Show data
Production of electricity[kToe]
2004 0.04
2005 0.05
2006 0.54
2007 1.95
2008 3.80
2009 6.73
2010 8.28
2011 10.68
2012 10.65
2013 9.13
2014 8.96
2015 9.41
2016 10.68
2017 10.22
2018 9.25
2019 6.92
2020 7.69
2021 7.10
2022 6.61
Figure KM24-2: Area with rapeseed, 2000–2022
Sources:

SORS, 2023

Show data
Area with rapeseed [ha]
2000 122
2001 398
2002 2433
2003 2705
2004 1945
2005 2260
2006 2809
2007 5358
2008 4442
2009 4424
2010 5303
2011 4770
2012 5141
2013 6131
2014 5563
2015 1629
2016 3156
2017 3435
2018 3397
2019 3245
2020 3306
2021 2806
2022 2937
Figure KM24-3: Production of renewable energy from agriculture, 2018
Sources:

European Commission, 2023

Show data
Production of renewable energy from agriculture [Ktoe]
Germany 10358.28
France 3660.58
Italy 2218.25
Netherlands 2093.46
Spain 1842.51
Poland 1043.96
Czechia 757.14
Belgium 632.51
Austria 532.93
Hungary 515.01
Sweden 455.92
Portugal 329.98
Finland 325.55
Denmark 295.44
Slovakia 286.46
Romania 189.10
Greece 181.82
Latvia 171.60
Bulgaria 168.01
Lithuania 167.50
Croatia 65.73
Ireland 34.94
Slovenia 20.37
Luxembourg 20.20
Cyprus 11.39
Estonia 4.75
Malta 1.65

Goals

The national goal of Slovenia is to achieve at least a 27% share of RES in the final gross energy consumption by 2030. In accordance with the National Energy and Climate Plan (NEPN), the sectoral target shares of RES in the gross final energy consumption are also set for 2030:

- heating and cooling sector = 41.4%

- electricity sector = 43.3%

- transport sector = 20.8% (the share of biofuels is at least 11%).


In 2022, the main renewable energy source in Slovenia originating from agriculture was biogas. Other agricultural sources of renewable energy have not yet taken off.

The development of agricultural biogas plants began in Slovenia after the government of the Republic of Slovenia defined more appropriate purchase prices and premiums for qualified electricity producers (for biogas plants) after 2002. In addition to slurry or manure, these biogas plants also use other input substrates, mostly energy plants (crops), which have a good yield of methane or biogas. After 2012, there is no longer any support for new biogas plants if they use crops as the main input substrate. This reduced the interest of investors in the construction of new biogas plants.

Before 2016, biogas plants received support by applying to the Energy Agency after their construction and meeting the conditions. With the Regulation on subsidies for electricity produced from renewable energy sources, UL RS, no. 74/2016, support for new biogas plants is awarded through tenders, where each applicant offers his price, which must not be higher than the reference price. Only the most favourable applicants are selected. This way of entering the support scheme does not encourage investors to build new biogas plants. From 2016 to 2023, there were some biogas plants accepted into the support system, but in the end no new biogas plants were built.

In the same location there can be more biogas plants. Some of these biogas plants are conditionally agricultural, as they also use substrates that do not originate from agriculture. Some of the biogas plants are no longer in operation (Ihan, Ecos Lendava). Some of them changed owners, some of them were even with the Bank Claims Management Company (DUTB).

Until the end of 2022, biogas was used only for the production of electricity and heat. The heat energy produced is partially used for the technological process of anaerobic fermentation, but the greater part is often underutilized. The use of biomethane (additionally purified biogas) as a fuel has not yet taken off in our country, although in Slovenia in 2022 we already have many vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or biogas (biomethane). After the end of the 15-year support system, some biogas plants are seriously considering the production of biomethane, which makes it possible to enter the new support scheme.

In Slovenia, we also grow oilseed crops, among which rapeseed is important for energy purposes. Figure KM24-2 shows arable areas (surface) for the production of rapeseed for the period from 2000 to 2022. The average yield of rapeseed in Slovenia is relatively small, as it is between 1.8 and 3.6 t/ha in the considered time period, long-term average in the considered time period is 2.58 t/ha.

In Slovenia, we had a biodiesel factory "Biogoriva" within the framework of Pinus Rača. Biodiesel production there has stopped. During production, domestic and foreign plant oil was used. The raw material grown at home in Slovenia - rapeseed was pressed years ago in the domestic oil mill BIEL in Brežice. However, this oil mill has closed. In Slovenia, there are still a few small oil mills (micro oil mills) on family farms for pressing rapeseed oil, but the oil obtained there is not intended for sale for the production of biodiesel. Due to price conditions, a lot of rapeseed is exported abroad. The further use of this seed abroad is not known, it is possible to obtain oil for food as well as for energy purposes. The use of pure plant oil obtained from rapeseed as fuel for driving diesel vehicles represents an insignificant share in Slovenia. In principle, the country of Slovenia supports the use of biofuels. Pure biodiesel is completely exempt from excise duty, while mixtures of biodiesel and gas oil (diesel fuel) are partially exempt. Pure plant oil as an energy source (fuel) is an excise product for which excise duty must be paid, which then reduces its competitiveness with diesel fuel in the final price. In principle, fuel distributors mix up to 7% of biodiesel into regular diesel fuel. In the case of too expensive biodiesel, they also pay penalties for not mixing the mandatory share.

In Slovenia, until 2011, we did not cultivate energy crops for the production of bioethanol. Likewise, we do not have cultivation on agricultural land - the cultivation of non-forest plantations of fast-growing tree and shrub species. By-products from crop production, such as grain straw, are not used for energy purposes. The use of corn cobs as a source of energy in biomass stoves is collected in a mechanized way with an adapted combine harvester for harvesting corn kernels on only one family farm.

In recent years, attempts have also been made to introduce agrophotovoltaics in Slovenia. This is photovoltaics on agricultural land. Most photovoltaics in Slovenia are installed on roofs, there are also some free-standing photovoltaics on land for which it was necessary to change the purpose to building land. In principle, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food supports agrovoltaics in permanent plantations or in greenhouses. In practice, agrophotovoltaics do not yet exist in our country.

The European Common context indicators for rural development programs (2014-2020) contain indicator CCI 43 - Production of renewable energy from agriculture and forestry. It shows data for 2018 on the production of renewable energy sources from agriculture, data on the production of renewable energy sources from forestry and data on the total production of renewable energy sources for the EC 27 and particular member states. Germany has the largest production of renewable energy from agriculture, namely 10,358 kToe. France and Italy follow with 3,660 and 2,218 kToe. The entire EU27 has a production of 26,385 kToe from agriculture, which represents a 12% share among all renewable energy sources.


Methodology

Date of data source summarization