New Czech renewable energy sources to get Kc100bn from EU

Czechia's new renewable energy sources will get about Kc100bn from EU funds, like the modernisation and recovery funds, in the next seven years, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek said at online conference on solar energy and storage in Czechia. There are no sources more subsidised than renewables in Czechia, Havlicek said.

Renewable energy sources were allocated up to Kc1,000bn for 2010-2030, with Kc570bn-Kc580bn going to solar farms, he said. It is mainly because of the generous funding related to the so-called solar boom when the installed capacity rose from 465 MW in 2009 to 1,959 MW in 2010. It is undeniable that the future of the Czech energy mix is in renewable and nuclear energy, Havlicek said.

He mentioned the strategy presented by power utility CEZ, about 70 percent owned by the state, last week, which says the company will build renewable sources with a total capacity of 6,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, mostly in solar farms, and continue phasing out coal. It is about three times the capacity of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

Czechia needs to develop the mix of renewable, gas and nuclear sources to stay energy self-sufficient, which is an issue of time rather than technology, said Daniel Benes, CEO of energy group CEZ, representing the Confederation of Industry at today's conference. The solar industry is ready to play a key role in energy change, Solar Association board chairman Jan Krcmar said.

However, this cannot be done in the current investment environment without stability and a clear political commitment, he added. Further development of renewable energy sources in Czechia is supposed to be set by an amendment to the law on subsidised sources, approved by the government in April 2020, which is now in the Chamber of Deputies.

The bill covers also the allowed investment profitability of renewables, which has been disputed. The Industry Ministry will not stick to the idea of a low internal rate of return of solar farms and plans to set it between 8.4-10.6 percent, Havlicek said today, mentioning also a 10 percent solar tax rate.

There are options for the system's setting, but there seems to be an agreement about the solar tax in the parliament, Havlicek told daily Hospodarske noviny in the middle of April.

Havlicek said today that the Industry Ministry would take a neutral stance on including solar power stations in energy auctions and on energy storage issues discussed in the bill.

Total spending on subsidised energy sources has exceeded Kc40bn over the past few years. It was Kc45.4bn in 2019, with solar farms getting Kc29.1bn. Czechia has allocated more than Kc385bn for these energy sources since 2006. Aid for solar farms has been criticised by President Milos Zeman.

Source: ČTK

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