Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Europe 2020 targets - Czech Republic

CZECH REPUBLIC: There are fears that the required increase in growth will not be met. By the end of 2010, the Czech Republic was falling behind the schedule of its National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP), with 215MW installed wind capacity instead of the hoped-for 243MW. To reach its 2020 target of 743MW by 2020, it had set a modest annual increase of 50MW. But annual installations have only once exceeded this level, when 62MW was added in 2007.

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And, according to the Czech wind energy association, CSVE, the NREAP does not include a summary of measures to simplify and make more transparent the permitting processes that significantly burden and delay wind project development at the moment. In 2010, just 92MW of projects entered environmental impact assessment procedures, with only 6MW given the green light. In 2009, 600MW had entered the approval system, including a single project of up to 280MW, and yet just 33MW received approval, according to CSVE. The small amount of approvals does not bode well for sustaining the required average 50MW new capacity each year.

The association says the NREAP target should be a minimum but believes the Czech government is interpreting it as a maximum. It cites comment from the trade and industry ministry stating that renewable energy support is primarily aimed at meeting the NREAP objectives. Beyond that, renewables developments are not limited in any way, "but merely lose the title to support".

Indeed, a draft act on support for renewable energies to replace the existing Renewables Electricity Act, in force since 2005, looks unpromising. The plan under discussion is to abolish feed-in tariffs for wind plants exceeding 100kW, continuing only with current green bonus system, says CSVE. The green bonus is offered as an alternative to fixed feed-in tariffs, but is so unattractive that wind companies do not use it.

The revised Renewables Electricity Act is expected to be passed by parliament this year.

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