Where does Croatia’s energy come from?

Wind farm in Croatia
Image by Steel Guru

UPDATED: 14.06.2023.

Only 50% of the energy that Croatia uses originates from its own sources. In reality, Croatia does not need to import energy as it has many natural sources that could be used instead such as solar, wind, water, gas, and others. For this reason, Croatia should, in fact, export energy and not depend on other countries.

Croatia depends on the import of gas and oil because its existing sources have been depleted. The country also imports 100% of the coal it uses.

The energy produced from renewable sources has increased in the last few years, with wind power plants becoming more widespread. The production of all types of renewable energy sources including wind energy, solar energy, biogas, liquid biofuels, and geothermal energy has increased by 20,4%, while the usage of all other non-renewable energy sources decreased in 2019.

The government and the European Union often fund different programs to encourage renewable energy usage, which is covered later in this post. First, we’ll go through all the different energies that Croatia uses and imports.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Where does Croatia’s energy come from?

Energy consumption

In 2019, Croatian citizens consumed 405,7 PJ of energy, made up of:

  • ~ 32,8%  oil-based (liquid) fuels
  • ~ 24,9%  natural gas
  • ~ 13,4%  wood and biomass
  • ~ 12,7%  hydropower
  • ~ 5,5%  renewables
  • ~ 5,4%  electricity, which includes nuclear
  • ~ 5,1%  coal and coke
  • ~ 0,1%  heat

Energy production

In 2019, Croatia produced 12.760,3 GWh of energy, made up of:

  • ~ 31,3%  fuel wood
  • ~ 25,7%  hydropower
  • ~ 18%  natural gas
  • ~ 15%  crude oil
  • ~ 9,7%  renewables
  • ~ 0,3%  heat

Renewable sources include wind energy, solar energy, bio gas, liquid biofuels, and geothermal energy.

Energy imports

Croatia imports 50% of energy worth approximately 1,6 billion euros, which includes:

  • 100% of coal
  • 80% of oil
  • 50% of gas
  • ~40% of electricity

In 2019, Croatia’s imported energy included:

  • ~ 34,5% of petroleum products, from Russia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria
  • ~ 26% of crude oil, from Russia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria
  • ~ 21,1% of natural gas, from Russia
  • ~ 10% of electricity, from Hungary and Bosnia and Hercegovina
  • ~ 6,9% of coal and coke, from Columbia
  • ~ 1,5% of biomass

Oil and oil products

Croatian phrase: Nafta and naftni derivati

In Croatia, there are 38 oil fields that produce and process crude oil. Gas condensation is produced from 9 gas fields.

There are approximately 870 petrol stations in Croatia. Most of them are owned by INA, the Croatian oil company.

Petrol stations in Croatia are owned by:

  • INA (~396)
  • Petrol (~110)
  • Crodux (~91)
  • Lukoil (~47)
  • Tifon (~46)
  • Shell (~26)
  • Adria oil (~25)
  • KTC (~15)

Approximately 74 petrol stations are placed on Croatian motorways.

Natural gas

Croatian phrase: Prirodni plin

Croatia has 17 natural gas exploitation fields in the Pannonian Basin or “Pannon”, which mostly covers Slavonija. An additional three exploitation areas are located in the Adriatic but only 37% belong to Croatia. The rest are owned by Italy.

Pannon produces 64,7% of the gas and most of it comes from the fields of Duboka Podravina and Međimurje (Molve, Kalinovac, Gola, Vučkovec, and Zebanec reservoirs).


Croatian phrase: Električna energija

Croatia produces electricity at:

  • Hydropower plants – 17 locations
  • Thermal power plants – 7 locations
  • Wind power plants
  • Industrial power plants
  • Renewable energy source power plants

Croatia uses ½ of the capacities of the nuclear power plant Krško in Slovenia (Croatia is a co-owner of Krško). HEP is the major owner of the produced electricity in Croatia. Private energy producers mostly generate renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

Krško nuclear power plant
Image by Radio Aktivni Otpad


Croatian phrase: Toplinska energija

Eleven companies within Croatia produce, distribute and supply heat. These companies also provide space heating and hot water. Heat is produced in cogeneration plants, heating plants, and block and boiler houses.

Heat is available in 16 towns among Croatia:

  • Karlovac
  • Ogulin
  • Osijek
  • Požega
  • Rijeka
  • Samobor
  • Sisak
  • Slavonski Brod
  • Topusko
  • Varaždin
  • Velika Gorica
  • Vinkovci
  • Virovitica
  • Vukovar
  • Zagreb
  • Zaprešić


Croatian phrase: Ugljen

Croatia imports 100% of it’s coal. Brown coal and lignite are imported from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, and Hungary. Koks (coke) is imported from Hungary, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Hard coal is imported from the international market and comes from the Russian Federation and Columbia.

Renewable energy sources

Croatian phrase: Obnovljivi izvori energije

Croatia uses 6 types of renewable energy sources:

  • Sunce – solar power plants
  • Vjetar – wind power plants
  • Biomasa – biomass power plants
  • Bioplin – biogas power plants
  • Male hidroelektrane – small hydropower plants
  • Geotermalne elektrane – geothermal power plants

As a member of the European Union, Croatia was required to use at least 20% of renewable energy sources in 2020. In 2019, Croatia produced ~10% of its energy and 66,2% of its electricity from renewable sources.

The energy development strategy of the Republic of Croatia until 2030 (and with some expectations for 2050) is a transition to renewable energy sources. Dependence on fossil fuels should be decreased and domestic energy production and use of renewable sources should be increased.

The goal of the Croatian government is to consume 35,7% and produce 60% of the energy from renewable sources until 2030. Further goals are to consume 45,5% and produce 82% of energy from renewable sources until 2050.

Getting funding for renewable energy projects

Over the last 15 years, almost all renewable energy in Croatia has been produced by the private sector. Fond za zaštitu okoliša i energetsku učinkovitost – FZOEU (Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund) co-finances the procurement of renewable energy systems. This is done through different renewable energy programs for families and households, multi-residential and non-residential buildings.

FZOEU also offers funds to companies, organizations, and citizens for financing sustainable programs, projects, and other activities through loans without fees, subsidies, and donations.

You can track the latest open fund applications on the web site for Nacionalni javni pozivi i natječaji, which is available here.

You can also track EU open invitations and tenders to see if there is an open application from the side of the European Union. This page is available here.

Energy in Croatia annual report

All data in this article was sourced from the latest reports from the Croatian government on energy usage, which reflect data from 2019. The reports for 2020 will not be released until the end of 2021, at which time we will update this post.

If you are interested in more details on the production and consumption of energy in Croatia, take a look at the annual energy report Energy in Croatia. It is available here. It is published by the Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development(Ministarstvo gospodarstva i održivog razvoja).

Most of the statistics in this article were taken from this annual report of the Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

If you are interested in environmental protection, take a look at Zelena akcija’s webpage here. Zelena akcija (Friends of the Earth Croatia) is the most influential non-governmental, non-profit, and voluntary association for environmental protection in Croatia. [Read: Ways to volunteer or give back in Zagreb]

View other ecology posts

Energija u Hrvatskoj
Strategija energetskog razvoja RH do 2030 s pogledom na 2050. godinu

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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