Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Czech Republic - Renewables sidelined as nuclear prioritised

CZECH REPUBLIC: The Czech Republic's wind sector is in a sorry state, and there is doubt as to whether any new turbines will be installed this year.

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Just 4MW was added in 2013, bringing the total fleet to 264MW, after 43MW were added in 2012. In previous years, just 2MW had been commissioned in 2011 and 23MW in 2010. Wind generation reached 415GWh, equivalent to the needs of about 119,000 households, Czech wind energy association CVSE reported in January 2014.

The Czech Republic wind and renewables sector has been sidelined as the government favours use of nuclear power as a low-carbon source to meet European decarbonisation goals. On 16 August 2013, the Czech parliament passed a Renewable Energy Act amendment, subsequently rubberstamped by the second chamber and signed off by president Milos Zeman on 17 September 2013, which said only projects that already had a building permit before the law was passed and are built before the end of 2015 are eligible for support.

The main support method for wind involves a green bonus on top of the electricity market price, payable for 20 years, and this has steadily fallen to only CZK 1.57/kWh (EUR 0.061/kWh) in 2013 from CZK 1.79/kWh for turbines commissioned in 2012 and CZK 1.84 and CZK 1.89 per kilowatt hour in 2011 and 2010.

Whether Jan Mladek, the new minister of industry and trade with responsibility for energy, will take steps to revive the renewables sector if the country's expensive nuclear plans do not materialise remains to be seen.

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