Thursday, 24 April 2014

Industry Ministry plans to better monitor solar projects

10 December 2012

Prague, Dec 9 (CTK) - Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba does not rule out that owners of photovoltaic power plants will pay the so-called solar tax also after 2013, and his ministry plans to make checks of the individual photovoltaic projects, Kuba told the Czech Television (CT) yesterday.

Further taxation will probably depend on the parameters of the projects, Kuba said in CT's discussion programme Otazky Vaclava Moravce. However, it will not be an individual tax.

"I don't think it (solar tax) will be applied across-the-board," Kuba said.

The burden on the economy, caused by the support of photovoltaic power plants, is so big that taxation of these sources has to be dealt with, according to Kuba.

However, checks of the individual projects should secure return on investment, that was made based on a specific promise by the state, to owners of solar sources. The details of the steps to be taken have not been elaborated in full detail yet, Kuba said.

"If the calculation and assessment are really independent, the ministry will then find it cannot consider extension of the force of the tax even for a second, as it would violate the return guaranteed by law," Martin Sedlak of the alliance for energy self-sufficiency (alies) said.

The government pushed through the introduction of solar tax because the number of photovoltaic power plants grew markedly in 2010 owing to a high purchasing price of electricity produced from renewable sources. The tax in its current form will be in effect until the end of 2013.

With the help of this measure, the state imposed tax on electricity from photovoltaic power plants, that were launched into operation in 2010 and 2009, for three years. The law maintained the original guarantees of the purchasing price of energy, embedded in legislation, but it reduced the guaranteed price by introducing a payment from the purchasing price.

The state's contribution to the support to renewable sources next year will remain at this year's Kc11.7bn. People now pay Kc419 for renewable sources in electricity prices in each consumed megawatt hour.

Next year, the amount that people pay for renewables will grow to Kc583, according to the Industry and Trade Ministry and the Energy Regulatory Office (ERU).

Photovoltaics account for 68 percent of the support to renewable sources. This means that an average family contributes around Kc712 a year to Czech solar power plants.

Photovoltaics make up around one-third of the total production of electricity from renewable sources.

Another important renewable source are biogas stations to which families pay around Kc130 a year on average in electricity prices. Contribution to sources using biomass is around Kc107.

Support to the remaining sources is smaller owing to a fairly low installed output. Wind turbines, for example, receive around Kc15 a year on average from families and small hydroelectric power plants get less than Kc50.

Purchasing prices of electricity will be the highest next year for sources launched into operation in 2006 and 2007. One megawatt hour of electricity from these sources will be purchased at Kc15,260.

However, the purchasing prices of electricity from new larger solar plants will be only Kc2,830 per MWh.

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