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October 20, 2021

Thermal power to dominate renewables in the Czech Republic till 2030

Thermal power will continue to dominate in the Czech Republic until 2030, which will slow down the growth of renewables in the country.

By GlobalData Energy

GlobalData’s latest report, “Czech Republic Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape,” discusses the power market structure of the Czech Republic and provides historical and forecast numbers for capacity, generation and consumption up to 2030. Detailed analysis of the country’s power market regulatory structure, competitive landscape and a list of major power plants are provided. The report also gives a snapshot of the power sector in the country on broad parameters of macroeconomics, supply security, generation infrastructure, transmission and distribution infrastructure, electricity import and export scenario, degree of competition, regulatory scenario and future potential. An analysis of the deals in the country’s power sector is also included in the report.

The dominance of thermal power sources, especially coal power, will result in the slow growth of the renewable sector in the Czech Republic by 2030. In 2020, renewable power generation share in total generation stood at 11.1% and it is expected to rise only marginally to 13.4% in 2030. Thermal power held a significant share of 48.1% in the country’s generation mix in 2020. Around one-third of the total electricity generated in the Czech Republic is from nuclear power and the country will continue to depend on thermal and nuclear power generation to a large extent till 2030.

The Czech Republic has been slow in the adoption of renewables. As the country has large reserves of hard coal, coal-fired thermal power holds a significant share in the country’s generation mix. Although the government is planning to phase out coal power in the 2030s, no clear plans and roadmaps have been made for the same. The country is heavily dependent on coal power generation to meet the electricity demand and its rapid phase-out can threaten the country’s energy security. Hence, the country should draft a clear coal phase-out policy to allow time for utilities to transition from coal power to other technologies.

According to the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Czech Republic is targeting to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. However, with thermal power expected to comprise a large share of 46.1% in total generation in 2030, this target will be difficult to achieve. Under NECP, the country is also targeting to increase the solar PV cumulative capacity to 4GW by 2030, however, it is expected to fall slightly short of this target. The country is also expected to miss its 2030 State Energy Policy target of generating 15.1TWh of electricity from renewables as renewable power generation is expected to reach only around 10TWh in 2030.

The Czech Republic has one of the lowest levels of power import dependence in Europe due to its large reserves of hard coal and consistent growth in annual power generation. Russia is the source of its oil and gas imports. The country’s large hydropower potential has already been harnessed, and only small hydropower offers the prospect of further additions, which the government is promoting.

In the transmission sector, because the Czech Republic is a net exporter of power, a high volume of power is transmitted across its borders. Although there is no congestion currently, there is a high possibility of this happening at some point in the future. This is because the Czech Republic lies between the eastern and western nations of Europe and therefore its grid may become a conduit for power imports and exports between other countries. With increased trading in power, interconnection points can become clogged, meaning that CEPS, the transmission system operator of the Czech Republic, is expected to invest significantly in upgrading and modernising the system.

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