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The Czech Republic is opening its doors to clean energy

The key law concerning support of renewables, which could start a revolution in the Czech energy sector, became valid on 1st August 2005. Whether it will be successful is dependent on important regulations which are currently being completed by the Czech Energy Regulatory Office.

The law, which ecological organizations have already used for a number of years, will open the path onto the Czech market for wind and small water power plants, the combustion of Biomass or solar energy. It is meant to decrease the emission of Carbonic Oxides by approximately 4 million tones - that is, of an amount corresponding to almost all Czech lorries and HGV's combined. By the end of the decade it will necessitate investment in the Czech economy of about 50 million CZK. It will modernize the energy sector and will create thousands of new jobs. As well as this, the effect on prices will only be in the order of a few percent, negligible with other influences on the market.

The law is clearly the best rule for the support of clean forms of energy in the new EU member states. Entrpreneurs who decide to construct a facility for the production of clean energy will as a result of the law have a guaranteed long-term purchase price for its electricity which will secure the payback of the investment, and will so open the doors to bank loans.

Whether the law will really be an effective support of clean sources will be decided by the proclamations being carried out at present and being prepared by the Czech Energy Regulation Office. There are rules in them for the calculation of .purchase prices and particularly for the individual prices. It is precisely the purchase prices that are the most important parameter for the whole system of support. For the legislature to fulfil its purpose, they must be set transparently and without discrimination. They must guarantee the manufacturers of all types of sources a fifteen - year payback of investment - as the law demands.

Edvard Sequens, Calla and Petr Holub, Hnutí DUHA (Friends of the Earth in CZ)

English translation of the Act 180/2005 (Act on Promotion of Use of Renewable Sources) - for download (doc, 80 kB)

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