In 2018, new legal framework was adopted - Croatia's energy resources have been consolidated in one place, which is the basis for creating a positive investment climate in a country that rationally manages its resources. In this regard, special emphasis was placed on the great potential of geothermal and the exploitation of geothermal water for energy purposes. The licensing process (hydrocarbon or geothermal) is carried out by the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency established by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
From oil industry Croatia has inherited enormous knowledge about our underground potential in geothermal waters. We have tradition of oil and gas production since 1940’s. During the decades, production has been declining and at the time we are on the path to employ our remaining oil and gas potential in transition period and striving to utilize great knowledge and tradition into producing renewable energy from geothermal waters and to employ abandoned oil and gas fields for CO2 storage. The introduction of renewable energy sources into the heating, cooling and transport sectors is crucial for decarbonization; they also represent a huge opportunity for further growth in the renewable energy sector.
Croatia has an above-average geothermal gradient - even 60% higher than the European average and has the basic prerequisite for the use of geothermal water for energy purposes. Temperature rises around 4,9°C with every 100 m of depth at average. According to current estimates of existing geothermal sources, the current potential is 500 MW from geothermal energy.
Some of these are sources of very high temperatures, usually above 120°C or 150°C, which can be used for the production of electricity in geothermal energy, and sources with lower temperatures of 60°C or 80°C and higher, are suitable as hot water sources suitable for exploitation in district heating systems or in agriculture.
Geothermal potential in Croatia has been proven in cca existing 40 wells.