Shining bright: Slovenian village goes self-sufficient with solar power
Aljosa Milenkovic in Luce


In the global pursuit of green energy solutions, the small Slovenian village of Luce is embarking on a unique path. 

With the help of funding from the European Union, and together with dozens of other villages from Europe, China, and India, Luce has become a role model.

It has opted for a combination of privately owned solar cells, communal batteries, LED street lights, electric bicycles and cars and biomass central heating. 

The experiment has been ongoing for almost three years now and the locals more than happy with its results.



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Tomaz Robnik is one of the residents of Luce who decided to join the local solar revolution. In the beginning, he put solar panels on the rooftop of his family home and installed a small solar power station.

"The capacity of my solar power station is 13 kilowatts. And annually, we produce some 13 to 14 megawatts of solar electrical energy." Tomaz told CGTN.

Tomaz's house is just one small element of the village's energy self-sustainability formula. It combines solar panels on private homes' roofs, a public charging station for electric cars, a huge communal battery pack for the village and biomass central heating for public buildings.

Luce Mayor Ciril Rosc is especially proud of the town's achievement.

"That part of the municipality is practically self-sustainable with the electricity from the solar panels. It is provided by the huge battery in Luce, which charges when there is enough sun, and empties when there is no sun. Numbers say that area is self-sufficient, producing around 84 percent of electrical energy needs."

So, when Tomaz and the other villagers produce more power than they can use, the excess solar energy is stored in a massive battery pack inside a tiny building at the town's center.

As Luce faced frequent electrical outages, the battery pack helps them maintain supply, regardless of the national grid. In addition, the battery pack capacity provides them with power for three full days.

All of that was achieved with some clever solutions from Slovenia's leading supplier of fossil fuels – petrol.

"Distribution system operator said that this part of Luce village who wanted to participate in the project altogether could put only 10 kilowatts solar power plants on their roofs," Bojan Stojanovic, Petrol's head of EU projects told CGTN. "With our tools, with our smart grid technology, with our models and algorithms, we were able to increase that to 100 kilowatts."

Despite its name, Petrol decided to go green and gradually started switching to non-carbon-based energy sources, a decision that has brought positive changes to the village of Luce.

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