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HN: Green energy share rising in EU, stagnating in ČR

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Prague, April 5 (CTK) – Coal energy generation has been faster and faster replaced with renewable sources across Europe, but this trend has almost frozen in the Czech Republic, where nearly no green power plants appeared in recent years, compared with their boom in 2009-2011, Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote on Wednesday.

According to the statistic of OTE, a local electric energy market operator, no wind power plant was put into operation in the past years, and only 50 new small solar plants were built, with the output of 0.7 MW, the daily writes.

The number of new biomass and biogas energy stations was quite low as well, while small water plants were repaired rather than newly constructed, it writes.

Of the total energy production of 77,411 GWh in 2016, renewable sources made up 5,763 GWh, compared with 41,520 GWh generated by coal-fired power plants, 22,730 by nuclear power plants and 7,398 by gas-fired and incinerating plants, the paper writes, citing OTE data.

“Too frequent changes of the rules, including repeated amending of the law on state-subsidised sources of energy and changes in the prices of energy, have caused the clean energy sector to rise only slowly, and to completely stop in the case of wind power plants,” Stepan Chalupa, chairman of the Chamber of Renewable Sources of Energy (OZE), is quoted as saying.

He said green energy also stagnates as a result of a long-year dispute between the Industry and Trade Ministry and the Energy Regulation Office (ERU), which refused to provide state subsidies, a total of 42 billion crowns a year, for both current and new green sources due to a lacking permit from the EU.

Photovoltaic power plants have gained a bad reputation in the Czech Republic due the state’s failure to effectively manage their boom in 2009-2011, HN continues.

These plants’ overall output is relatively low, 2,080 MW, which corresponds to two units of the nuclear power plant in Temelin, south Bohemia. The state subsidies to them total some 27 billion crowns a year, the paper writes.

Apart from business companies, the state has been offering support for solar sources to households since last year on strictly defined conditions, the daily writes.

The situation of wind energy is the worst in the Czech Republic now, though this is one of the main green sources elsewhere in the EU, it continues.

Windmills with a total output of mere 282 MW operate in the country, compared with 340-MW new windmills the neighbouring Bavaria put into operation in 2016 alone, HN writes.

The state has stopped subsidising the launch of new windmills in recent years, though it is the cheapest way to generate clean energy, Chalupa told the paper.

The mushrooming of biogas and biomass stations peaked in the Czech Republic in 2010, but only two were built last year. Their total number exceeds 100, the daily writes.

Jan Habar, who heads the BiomCZ association, says the operators of biogas and biomass stations do not expect the state to subsidy this kind of energy generation. They say the support for combined electricity and heat production is much more effective.

The prices of energy supplied by renewable sources have been declining for a long time. Nevertheless, traditional sources continue to prevail financially, HN writes.

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