Czech parliament approves law hoping to kickstart renewable energy projects – EQ Mag Pro
The central European country gets 16 per cent of its energy needs from renewables, and needs large investments to meet its share on the EU’s climate targets
PRAGUE: The Czech parliament approved a law on Wednesday setting the framework for aid to renewable energy projects, which industry players hope will restart a boom in green projects.
The law sets rules for the development of renewable resources in the coming years when billions of euros will be available for investments from European Union programmes for modernisation. It also allows for auctions for new capacity.
“The law is fundamental for the transformation of the Czech energy industry,” industry group Chamber of Renewables (Komora OZE) said in a statement.
The Czech Republic is the EU’s third largest coal consumer, according to Eurostat. A government commission has set 2038 as the year for complete departure from coal as fuel in power plants, although the debate continues and experts expect high carbon prices may shut down coal power plants much sooner.
The central European country gets 16 per cent of its energy needs from renewables, and needs large investments to meet its share on the EU’s climate targets.
The Czech Republic’s main power utility CEZ has pledged to slash the proportion of coal in its portfolio to 12.5 per cent in 2030 from 36 per cent last year, and invest billions of euros into renewables, mainly solar.
The lower house on Wednesday approved a Senate version of the law setting public aid at levels allowing the internal rate of return (IRR) for existing renewable installations at 8.4-10.6 per cent.
This is above a previous version of the law which the solar industry said could lead to bankruptcies and discourage new investments.
The compromise was an important part of the legislation attempting to put to rest a decade of controversy.
Solar installations, mainly built in 2009 and 2010, have received around 1.2 billion euros in annual aid, a burden shared by the government and consumers.
That led to widespread opposition to the solar industry and a freeze on new aid schemes for several years.
Large solar plants commissioned in 2009-10 will also face additional taxation under the new law.