Energy 21, the Czech solar energy market leader, wants to invest more than CZK 1.4 billion this year and increase the output of its photovoltaic energy plants about six times from the current 6.5 megawatts to 35-40 megawatts, company head Daniel Kunz told E15.
“We are currently working on new projects for plants, the output of which is approximately 9 megawatts,” he said. “Some 25 megawatts are in the final preparatory phase. Some more 20 megawatts should be built in the third quarter of the year, and the final five megawatts are unfortunately moving into the first or second week of October. It will be a chase.”
The solar energy boom started in the second half of last year. While there were only 238 solar plants in the Czech Republic in January 2008, with a total output of three megawatts, just one year later there were 1,214 plants producing 54 megawatts. This May, there were 1,693 plants with the output of 69 megawatts. The majority of those plants are in the south of the country, in areas controlled by the German company E.ON.
“The difference in investment return between Moravia and South Bohemia is 4%, and between Moravia and West Bohemia it is as much as 7%,” Kunz said. In general, investment return from photovoltaic plants comes after nine to 13 years, thanks to high purchase price. The lifetime of solar panels is some 20 years.
E.ON spokesman Vladimír Vácha confirms the growing boom of solar energy plants. “Towards the end of last year we registered more than 400 requests to connect new photovoltaic plants. The demand continues growing,” he said. “Unfortunately, this year we already have some areas that we will be unable to recommend since the network would collapse,” Vácha said without adding details. E.ON’s network connects more than 1,200 solar plants and has an overall output reaching about 54.3 megawatts.
Energy 21 wants to double the installed output of its plants next year, which would mean an output of 80 megawatts.