Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Uncertainty over Czech renewables law -- Development resumes

The Czech Republic added 9 MW of wind plant in 2005 to take its total to 28.5 MW. While the country's new renewable energy law took effect in August, with a target for 8% of electricity to come from renewables by 2010, it is the subject of scrutiny by the European Commission. The law may be "deficient" in detail in transposing the EU European renewable energy directive into national legislation, says Neela Winkelmann of Nova Energie.

At present the law stipulates that "revenue/kWh" is guaranteed for 15 years, indicating that fixed price contracts for power purchase will be on offer. But the wording is ambiguous and for 2007 projects the regulatory authority refers to payment over the lifetime of the installation. Insufficient attention to grid access and administrative procedures are also causes for concern at the Commission, says Nova Energie.

Power from the three projects installed last year is being bought for CZK 2.6/kWh (EUR 0.086/kWh) for 15 years. These are a 4.25 MW plant, comprising five Vestas 0.85 MW machines, a 3 MW plant with two Repower 1.5 MW turbines, and a 2 MW Enercon machine.

The rate set for projects this year and next is CZK 2.46/kWh (EUR 0.081/kWh), according to the Czech Regulatory Authority.

On the horizon

Potential new projects include a 19 turbine development at Mackovice in southern Moravia. Austrian companies WEB and Windkraft Simonsfeld each have 40% of the rights and Ventureal the other 20%. CEZ Renewable Resources, established last year by major Czech energy company CEZ, is also hiring staff and also wants to build on two small plants installed so far with a combined capacity of 2.76 MW. Fellow Czech company Venti is reported to be withdrawing from a joint venture with the UK's Virtual Utility which has been idling for several years over a planned 180 turbine development at Chomotov.

In taking a stake in the project and speeding its implementation CEZ could swiftly increase its wind portfolio. "We are aware that the developer would like to reassess its involvement in the project," says a CEZ spokesperson. "I can not say at this moment that CEZ is interested in this project, but we are definitely interested in obtaining more information."

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