The combination of a cut in state subsidies at home and an increased demand for solar power in Hungary is leading many Czech companies to set up to invest in the country. However, the Czech government’s plans to reduce and eventually completely remove carbon dependency has led some to promote the benefits of increasing support for photovoltaics in the country.
Business daily E15 says that the Czech Republic appears to have lost at
least one of the outstanding arbitration procedures launched by investors
in solar power plants.
The paper says that a so far report to the Ministry of Finance suggests that in one of the six outstanding arbitration cases the investor has the rights to compensation.
It adds that the bill from this and other possible findings in favour of the claimants could come to billions of crowns. The arbitration procedures were launched after the Czech government imposed special taxes on solar investors in 2011 to claw back some of the payments made to them under a much criticised programme to boost renewable power.
The government is proposing to spend 26.185 billion crowns in 2018 on support for renewable energy, the same amount earmarked for 2017, according to documents sent for comments before a final decision is taken. Total renewable support is an explosive issue in the country amid allegations that a few have profited massively from over generous long term state support at the expense of the many. The outgoing head of the national energy regulator, Alena Vitásková, said her steps to curb support would save every citizen 3,500 crowns a year over 20 years. President Miloš Zeman said this week not enough had been done.
The European Commission has approved a support scheme for installations producing renewable energy built in the Czech Republic between 2006 and 2012. The Commission concluded the measure would further EU energy and climate goals without unduly distorting competition. The scheme will have a total budget of 836.5 billion crowns over its lifetime (around €30.95 billion).
Two managers of the power giant ČEZ have been charged with fraud over the licencing of a solar power plant in Čekanice, South Bohemia. The accused allegedly gave the plant final building approval although it was far from completed so that the owner could get a higher purchase price for electricity. ČEZ has refrained from commenting on the case. Police are investigating similar cases of fraud in connection with dozens of other solar power plants around the country.
Up to 5,600 people could be employed in the Czech wind energy sector by the year 2050, according to a study by the Seven consultancy. According to the daily e15.cz, which published the results of the study, that prediction could be fulfilled if the state starts supporting wind energy and would offer support to the tune of one billion crowns in subsidies each year.