Solar Power Plants, Drniš, Croatia

Local people and municipality representatives opposed the project of building solar power plants in the vicinity of the town of Drniš.

Šibenik-Knin County is one among the sunniest regions in South Europe. This regional potential attracted many investors interested in building solar power plants around the town of Drniš. In 2012, Croatian private companies Soladria, Ekosolar and Meritum Inžinjering proposed building of 3 solar power plants of 3,5 ha each, two near village Kaočine and one in the village Radonjić. The Šibenik-Knin County Department for spatial planning declined to issue the building permit to the investors; however the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection abolished the county’s decision, equating a solar power plant with any other type of infrastructure. Local citizens together with municipality representatives opposed the project and demanded an assessment of the effects of a project on the environment, people and local economy, particularly agriculture and rural tourism. The hunters society from Drniš added that wildlife crossing and water intakes of drinking water located in the area of village Kaočine and near NP Krka would also be disrupted by the solar power plants. Finally, the Drniš City Council came up with a decision that prohibits selection of the locations for solar power plants without agreement of the town of Drniš authorities, as well as until the new town spatial plan is being published. In August 2015 the owner of SolTech company announced construction of a solar power plant in Drniš. As per information from March 2016, SolTech has been looking for a project investor. 
Basic Data
NameSolar Power Plants, Drniš, Croatia
ProvinceŠibenik-Knin County
SiteDrniš, Kaočine, Radonjić
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mega-project solar plants
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
3 solar power plant, 3.5 ha each
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Project Area (in hectares)150
Level of Investment (in USD)68,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population600
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesSoladria from Croatia - Investor in the solar power plants
Ekosolar from Croatia - Investor in the solar power plants
Meritum inžinjering from Croatia - Investor in the solar power plants
SolTech (Solar Technology) (SolTech) from Croatia - Project developer, consultant, designer and contractor on the Drniš solar power plant project
Relevant government actorsThe City of Drniš; Community Council of Kaočine; Community Council of Radonjić; The Šibenik-Knin County Department for Spatial Planning ; The Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection of Republic of Croatia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCitizens, villagers and Community Councils of Kaočine and Radonjić; Youth council of the town of Drniš; Hunting society "Kamenjarka" Drniš
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local government/political parties
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public panel discussion
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesThe opponents of the project demanded moving the solar power plants location further away from the Kaočine and Radonjić villages, as well as the EIAs for each of the proposed locations.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The Drniš City Council prohibited construction of the solar power plants until new spatial plan of the city is being published. As per newspaper article from August 2015 and March 2016, a 50 MW solar power plant will be constructed in the village of Oklanj (only 15km from Kaočine). There is no information if local people have reacted on the selection of new location.
Sources and Materials

'Nećemo solarne elektrane! Oće li nam ovce past staklo?'
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Nema dozvola za sunčeve elektrane dok se ne donesu izmjene i dopune PP Grada Drniša
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Na cijelom jugoistoku Europe drniški kraj najbolji za solarne elektrane
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OBNOVLJIVA ENERGIJA: U Drnišu se gradi najveća solarna elektrana u Dalmaciji
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OBNOVLJIVA ENERGIJA: U Drnišu se gradi najveća solarna elektrana u Dalmaciji
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DRUGA NAJVEĆA SOLARNA ELEKTRANA U EU GRADIT ĆE SE KOD OKLAJA? Projekt zagrebačke tvrtke od 60 milijuna eura
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update16/05/2016