The level of overall trust in the Czech economy has fallen to a five year low according to the results of a monthly industry survey conducted by the Czech Statistical Office and published on Tuesday. Among consumers and entrepreneurs year-on-year trust levels fell, while among industry and construction representatives trust levels have remained the same for the past four months.
The Czech Republic should have the right to determine its own energy mix,
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told the Czech News Agency on Sunday
ahead of his departure for the United National General Assembly, which also
includes the Sustainable Development Impact Summit.
Mr. Petříček also said nuclear energy represented part of the country’s energy mix and it was an important replacement of the fossil fuels, which are being gradually phased out.
Czech state-controlled utility ČEZ has announced a September 25 deadline
for potential buyers of its Romanian assets to register their interest. The
move is in line with the company’s strategy to exit foreign markets,
including Bulgaria, Turkey and Poland.
In total, ČEZ is considering seven companies in Romania, keeping only companies engaged in modern energy services (ESCo) and trading activity. ČEZ will later issue a call for non-binding tenders from registered potential buyers.
The utility expects to earn tens of billions of crowns from the sales, which it will invest largely into renewable energies.
Czech car-maker Škoda Auto has manufactured the first production
components for VW electric cars. The high-voltage batteries will be used
for plug in hybrids based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform.
The battery packs will be used for instance in the Škoda Superb iV. Production of this model is due to be launched at the Kvasiny plant in September.
The company invested over 25 million euros in the production lines for high-voltage batteries. The initial output of 150,000 units per year should be further increased in the following years.
The Czech Republic’s year-on-year industrial production figures grew by
0.1 percent in July, factoring in the difference of two working days, the
Czech Statists Office reported on Friday. Unadjusted, the increase was 5.6
The main drivers of growth were the automobile industry, electrical equipment production and manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products.
The country’s external trade balance in goods ended with a surplus of 0.1 billion crowns in July, compared to a deficit of 8.2 billion in the same month last year. Exports grew year-on-year by 8.4 percent to 289.5 billion crowns and imports by 5.1 percent to 289.5 billion crowns.
Czechs are racing to file applications for building permits, with official figures showing that the number of applications in the first half of 2019 was the highest in 10 years. The main reason appears to be an EU directive that will make building more expensive from 2020, when stricter environmental rules come in. However, representatives of both business and government say that modern technologies will help save money in the long term.
Business and government representatives gathered near the western Bohemian town of Žatec on Wednesday to attend the official opening of a new Nexen Tire plant. The factory, which also features a research and development facility, is the third largest foreign investment project in the Czech Republic to be brokered by the country’s business development agency CzechInvest.
The newly established Coal Commission will meet for the first time on
Monday to discuss coal’s future role in the Czech Republic’s energy mix
and address how to manage its reduced production and use.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) announced the creation of the Coal Commission this March. The 19-member advisory board is co-chaired by Brabec and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO). It also includes experts appointed by relevant stakeholders, including industry, labour unions, NGOs and local communities.
Brabec said the main goal is to conduct a structured national debate on the transition from fossil fuels towards renewables and nuclear against the backdrop of combatting climate change.
The Czech Republic is the fifth-biggest polluter in Europe and the 20th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions and the key reason is coal-fired power plants.
Last year, brown coal-fired power plants produced the most electricity in the national energy mix (43 percent), followed by nuclear power plants (a third) and renewable sources (11 percent).
Faced by an acute labour shortage, the Czech government is looking to attract more foreign workers and streamline the processing of issuing work permits. In recent years, the country has in particular turned to Ukraine to help fill the gap. The government wants to do the same for workers from EU hopefuls such as Montenegro, Moldova and Serbia, as well as India and other Asian countries.
Activists from the Extinction Rebellion environmental group briefly blocked
the entrance to the Ministry for Regional Development on Prague’s Old
Town Square shortly before noon on Friday demanding that the government
reduce emissions from fossil fuels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
The Ministry for Regional Development is represented in a government commission which will debate the gradual phasing out of coal mining and the country’s future energy mix. The activists argued that such a decision should be the result of a broad debate and consensus in society.
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