International Conference – Panel discussion
23 March 2021

The Slovenian Energy Association (SEA) have been organised an international conference with a panel discussion – Energy system integration to debate the needs and opportunities of main energy sectors i.e., electricity, gas, heat and cold in the process of the economy decarbonisation.

Realising energy future as our common concern – the coordinated approach comprised by planning and operation of the different energy system “as a whole”, incorporates various energy carriers, infrastructures, and energy consumption sectors. Is the only way to an efficient, affordable, and thorough decarbonisation of the nationals and European economy.


Prof. Alojz Poredoš, President of the Slovenian Energy Association (SEA), opened an international conference and stressed the importance of integration. As an example of the integration of systems, he presented a modern concept of smart city energy design.

In his introductory remarks, Mr Paul Voss, director of Euroheat & Power, highlighted the integration of energy sectors as extremely important not only at the national level but also at the Union level. Euroheat & Power is active with its assessments, initiatives, and opinions in the process of preparation of the Union’s energy policies, to increase integration of national and regional policies in Union.

Ms. Blaž Košorok, secretary of state at the Ministry of Infrastructure presented a series of activities on national legislation based on the integration of energy services. The vision of a climate-neutral Slovenia in 2050 must include several priorities, such as a low-carbon circular economy. This also means that existing targets in the NEPN are needed for renewal. He highlighted the importance of the national exit coal strategy as well as the impact of this strategy on coal regions. Green hydrogen as well as energy systems resilience are the government main concerns.

Ms Duška Godina, director of the Energy Agency, described the difference between traditional and integrated energy systems – sectors. Existing legislation will have to be upgraded and become the basis for the economic technical regulation of connected networks, services, systems.


New integrated systems and the active role of consumers need an effective legislative framework, as well as identification of economic risks in the process of economic technical regulation.

Mr Einari Kisel, Head of the Department of Strategies and Partnerships at the Centre of Excellence in Estonia, stressed the importance of the systematic approach to introducing system integration. He demonstrated a case that began with the digitisation process. This has been expanded, using energy the consumption issue as a base, for the planning of wider energy infrastructure. In this way, energy systems advanced into complex interconnected systems.

The President of the Slovenian Economic Union in Klagenfurt, Mr Benjamin Wakounig, presented activities focused on energy. The economic situation is changing not only because of the focus on carbon neutral energy, but also because of the epidemiological situation. As a result, members and the Union are directing their activities into new technologies and services that can be more effectively realised and financed. He considers that cooperation in the field of energy in the region is essential.



The purpose of the round table, moderated by Mr Dejan Koletnik, Vice-President of the Slovenian Energy Association, and Ms Alenka Lena Klopčič, Director of the Portal, was to link energy knowledge and activities of the speakers into future developments essential for a neutral carbon neutral economy.

The debate involving electricity, gas, heat, and cold sectors involved:  

  • Jože Bajuk, Petrol d. d. Ljubljana
  • Alojz Cjuha, Energy Ljubljana
  • Marjan Eberlinc, Pipelines and EGF
  • Daniel Levičar, GEN Energy
  • Alexander Mervar, ELES
  • Jože Torkar, Resalta
  • Marko Štrigl, HSE



  • Energy systems must be treated as one integrated system.
  • To avoid stranded investments in individual sectors as well as in systems, planning must be integrated. 
  • In bringing the various sectors into the process, the effective dialogue between key economic and non-economic societies must be established.
  • The country’s industries must be more active integrated within a defined circular system, particularly in the use of excess – waste energy.
  • The present period is an opportunity and challenge for preparing new energy plans and with this use all resources of the Union.
  • The starting point for energy systems connecting must be included in new upgraded national energy and climate planning (NEPN).
  • The compound national hydrogen strategy is needed for the energy market and integration of energy systems.
  • Numerous advanced pilot projects in Plinovodi, HSE, ELES and HESS and others are already underway.
  • It is necessary to raise the quality of strategic planning also at local level, to ensure the implementation of long-term local development programs, which appropriately include district heating and district cooling development programs.
  • An appropriate economic supporting environment should be established for quality and local planning, timely preparation of investments, the creation of a program and indicators for the transition to the fourth generation of district heating systems, the reduction of heat distribution losses and integration into low temperature regimes.
  • The refurbishment of the existing heat systems and the reductions of losses are challenges and opportunities.