Support to renewable energy sources is to be interrupted in the Czech Republic only if the European Commission demands it and until that time the money is to be paid, according to the statement of reasons to a proposed government resolution that is now in comment procedure.The document, which is to allow the Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) to allocate support to most producers of energy from renewable sources for next year, has been made available to the Czech News Agency.ERÚ spokesman Jiří Chvojka in an answer to ČTK’s question today did not rule out allocating of the support based on the document.
“We are analyzing the draft resolution; we started work on it late in the afternoon on Friday. We will take an active part in the comment procedure,” Chvojka said.The ERÚ understands the government’s efforts for the situation to be resolved somehow. “However, we want the resolution to be applied correctly on all the supported energy sources and that it be done in harmony with the Czech and European legislation,” he said.ERÚ chairwoman Alena Vitásková will also attend the government’s meeting next week when the draft resolution is on the agenda, Chvojka noted. “I can confirm that she has been invited,” he added.
The ERÚ decided in the middle of November that most renewable energy sources in the Czech Republic will not get the support next year because otherwise law would be broken. This concerns up to Kč 42 billion.Vitásková said at the beginning of December that the regulatory office would not pay out the support next year unless the EC approves it.Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek earlier said that the EC would express its stance regarding the public support to renewable sources probably between and April next year.
The Industry and Trade Ministry in a press release today said that it had received information that it was the ERÚ which was delaying the notification process. It has not yet handed over all the documents and information necessary for the process completion.“This reflects a paradoxical situation when the ERÚ on the one hand demands fast completion of the notification procedure for allocating the support and on the other hand makes obstacles and is delaying the notification decision,” Mládek said today.
The ERÚ has rejected the accusation. “We normally cooperate with the EU. Tomorrow will be a teleconference at which the EC will tell us what documents it wants. We could not issue any documents because we do not know what the EC demands,” Chvojka told ČTK.The ERÚ decided in November that next year, the support is not to be paid to those photovoltaic power plants, gas heating plants and biomass sources which have not yet gained notification from the EC.Energy sources launched between 2006 and 2012 and those to be launched from the beginning of 2016 lack the notification. The Industry and Trade Ministry as well as representatives of trade union associations have criticized this.
Agricultural Association chairman Martin Pýcha, for example, earlier told ČTK that if decision on the support is made only next year, some farmers operating biogas stations would be in danger of insolvency.“It would be a deadly combination, with the low purchasing price of milk and lack of fodder caused by drought,” he explained.According to Agriculture Ministry calculations, up to 415 biogas stations with installed output at 306 MW could go bankrupt.The government dealt with the situation around the support for next year on Dec. 2 already. It approved a government resolution which was to enable the payment. The ERÚ at that time refused to accept it.
Mládek at that time reacted by saying that solution to the payment of the support for next year would certainly be found.The ministry’s plan to submit a government resolution on the issue has been welcomed by the Confederation of Industry and Economic Chamber today.“We now call on the government to approve the resolution in its current wording as soon as possible so that the ERÚ can allocate the support by the end of this year,” the institutions said in a joint press release today.“We at the same time call on the ERÚ to react immediately after the resolution’s approval so that the relevant price decision can be issued in the price bulletin by the end of this year,” they added.“I believe that the government will fulfill its responsibility, meet the ERÚ’s condition and as soon as possible adopt a resolution that will cover the allocation of the missing support,” said Heating Association executive council chairman and former prime minister Mirek Topolánek.