Public sector


North-west Croatia Regional Energy Agency (Regionalna energetska agencija Sjeverozapadne Hrvatske)

Who needs to act?

Local and regional governments

Who is affected?

The municipality of Pokupsko has been the key driving force to implement this project, recognized all the benefits and actively participated in the project implementation including education and promotion activities, providing feedback and expressing interest in future projects. REGEA has provided expert support and coordinated the project on behalf of the municipality. The final beneficiaries of all projects and activities in Pokupsko are in all cases its inhabitants – the local people. With the construction of the communal biomass heating plant the inhabitants have the opportunity to additionally increase their quality of life – instead of chopping wood into logs and taking care of lighting the old wood furnace, heat is now available by simply pressing a button. The price of heat is cheaper then fossil fuel options while the regulation system enables each customer to define the desired comfort levels but also monitor the consumed heat on a constant basis. One of the main customers of the new biomass heating plant is the Elementary school in Pokupsko – which is, not surprisingly, very focused on environment protection and eco topics. Through a wide range of activities, the Eco-group pupils in Pokupsko are instilled with a sense of nature preservation and environment protection. Apart from providing cheaper and environment friendly heating, an additional benefit of the new biomass heating plant is that it creates new economic activity in the area – local forest owners can supply the plant with their own biomass and either receive heat for a lower cost or directly get paid for the delivery. Creating new business opportunities and new jobs is seen by the municipality as a key issue in reversing the negative population trends which Pokupsko is facing in the last two decades.

The biomass heating plant has a strong positive social component as well and can serve as an example of social responsibility: one part of the revenues from the selling of heat is used as a scholarship for poor and needy children living in Pokupsko.


Pokupsko District Heating System is a new system, opened in the late 2015, which presents the first biomass powered district heating system in Croatia. It is located in the municipality of Pokupsko, in the southern part of Zagreb County which is a home to 2,224 inhabitants (2011 census). The heat capacity of the biomass boiler is 1 MW, which will supply around 30 consumers in the first stage of the project. The equipment for heating plant has delivered the company Herz, one of the world's largest manufacturer of equipment for energy recovery from biomass. The biomass plant in Pokupsko is equipped with a multi-cyclone, where the dust from the waste gas can reduce to approximately 200 mg / Nm3.Almost 70% of the area of the Municipality of Pokupsko is covered with forests, many of them private, and this is one of the main reasons why the biomass heating plant has been established right here. The establishment of a biomass trade and logistic centre is in progress in Pokupsko which will provide a big support to the utilisation of local wood for heating. This is a direct result of an EU funded project (BioRES project within the Horizon2020 programme) in which Pokupsko Municipality participates through the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency. The final result is that currently more than 75% of energy needs in Pokupsko are satisfied through local resources, with the plans to reach 100% within next five years.


The project was financed by a mix of available financing sources. The total investment amounted to EUR 800,000, financed by means of EU-, local- and national Funds dedicated to RES projects. The project is considered a greenfield investment. The beneficiary / owner of the project is Pokupsko municipality.

Return of investment

Not applicable, because the whole investment has been 100 % financed by the IPARD Pre-accession programme.

Other resources to be used

EU-, local- and national Funds dedicated to RES projects

Available tools

Main project design developed and all building permits acquired in accordance with the national law.

Main steps of implementation

The project was developed by Croatian company Enerkon, while the consulting services were provided by North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency. The preparation process for this project was lengthy – it took 6 years to prepare all the paperwork, and only 6 months to build the production facility and district heating infrastructure. Currently, 15 consumers are connected to the district heating grid. The production facility also contains a heat storage in the form of a 24 m3 steel tank. The production facility was completely funded by the EU IPARD-programme under measure 301 "Improvement and Development of Rural Infrastructure", while the district heating infrastructure was funded by municipality and regional funds. All the public buildings in the municipality have been connected to this system and a number of local businesses have shown interest in connecting to the system.

Expected results

It is expected that within the next 5 years, more than 60 consumers will be connected to the system. The production facility uses forest biomass, which also opens new jobs since the municipality has a lot of privately owned forests whose owners can deliver biomass for utilization.

Contribution to SEAP & indicators

Increase of renewable resources

How to integrate in SEAP?

Can be included in a SEAP as a measure, tackling the residential and commercial sector.

Contribution to SUMP & indicators

District heating cannot be included in the sump indicators

How to integrate in SUMP?


Lessons learned

The main problem in developing DH systems using biomass as fuel or another RES in Croatia is that the project developer has to invest also in the heat distribution network.

Contacts & links

North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency – REGEA
Andrije Žaje 10, HR-10 000 Zagreb, Croatia

T +385 1 3098 315
F +385 1 3098 316