Without new sources energy will be scarce in CR - Havlicek | info.cz

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Without new sources energy will be scarce in CR - Havlicek

Without new sources energy will be scarce in CR - Havlicek

The Czech Republic will have nowhere to get electrical power in the future unless new energy sources, mainly nuclear units, are built, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek told journalists today.

If measures to counter the situation are not taken the country will be dependent on electricity imports as of 2030, said a mid-term adequacy forecast (MAF CZ) by power grid operator CEPS in which it dealt with the electricity balancing network until 2040.

There is a threat of electricity being unavailable in Europe, Havlicek said, adding that the power will be very expensive.

The new information shows that building a new unit at nuclear power plant Dukovany, southern Moravia, as planned, will not be enough and, within five years, it will be necessary to launch a debate on expansion of the second nuclear facility Temelin in the south of Bohemia, Havlicek said.

Czechia exports electricity in the long run. Renewables will be the second most important power source in the future, with coal to be phased out, Havlicek said.

"We are analysing the situation, saying what's going to happen. To tell the truth - that should have been done 10 years ago," said Havlicek.

"Five years ago, we were at the eleventh hour and nowadays, so to speak, the energy clock is ticking away, and if we don't make a decision and set a clear path ... then we may have problems in 2030," Havlicek said.

Data of ERU regulator show that Czech electricity consumption grew by 0.2 percent yr/yr to 73.9 terawatt hours (TWh) last year, making it the highest value since 1981, when records started. Production was 1.1 percent higher at 88 TWh, with brown-coal-fired facilities accounting for 43 percent of the figure, which was the highest share.

Export of electricity rose by an annual rate of 9.3 percent to 25.5 TWh and import decreased by 23.2 percent to 11.6 TWh last year. Slovakia and Austria were major buyer countries, while most energy was imported from Germany and Poland.

MAF CZ 2019 shows that the Czech production capacity will go down markedly by 2040, which will have to be made up for, CEPS said.

CEPS is working with two scenarios: A (basic) scenario envisages a fossil phase-out of 6,342 megawatts (MW), drop in the installed capacity of nuclear power plants to 2,137 MW and development of renewable energy in the amount of 6,560 MW.

B (low carbon) scenario counts on a 7,818 MW cut in fossil sources, with the other two targets being the same as in the case of A scenario.

Extension of Dukovany's operation is part of neither of the scenarios, while both of them count on the development of electromobility and energy storage solutions.

Both scenarios show that the coal phase-out will cause big changes in the market, with the country becoming dependent on electricity import as of 2030. It would need 23 TWh of foreign power under A scenario and up to 30 TWh under B scenario by 2040, said CEPS board chairman Martin Durcak.

Havlicek said CEPS's scenarios were optimistic regarding renewables.

Hnuti Duha (Friends of the Earth) environmentalists have long been criticising Czech power exports, saying the export is unnecessary. They said previously Czechia ranked among the world's largest exporters of electrical power. For coal exit, the development of renewable energy is unambiguously necessary, Jiri Kozelouh said today on behalf of the organisation.

CEPS's forecast must be taken seriously, said chairman of the the Chamber of Renewable Energy Sources Stepan Chalupa. He said he saw priority focus on renewables as the most responsible approach.

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