PR:The Government Has Just Approved of the Updated State Energy Policy

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Joint Press Release by Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), Greenpeace and Calla dated May 18, 2015
http://calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2015&php=tz150518.php

The Government Has Just Approved of the Updated State Energy Policy

After years of delay, the government approved the update of the State Energy Policy (ASEK) of the Czech Republic. The ASEK shows some opportunities for the Czech energy sector. However, as a whole it is badly composed - it deliberately avoids the key issue of brown coal mining limits and significantly underestimates the potential of domestic clean energy sources and energy savings.

Today’s approved ASEK allows to drastically reduce the consumption of fossil fuels (especially coal) [1]. Coal beyond the mining limits that protect the north Bohemian villages from being demolished, are not necessary according to the ASEK [2]. However, despite the fact and based on the information from environmental organizations, the government will not deal with validity of territorial and ecological mining limits and will postpone the decision. Lobbyists representing coal mine owners will get the next few months to promote their interests.

The government's energy concept also showed that our country can produce many times more electricity from domestic renewable resources than today [3] and employ 25 thousand people in this promising field [4]. However, the concept does not say how or even if the state will help achieve this development which would mean greater energy autonomy of municipalities and communities.

The Minister of Industry would also like to build new nuclear reactors. He does not, however, suggest who would pay hundreds of billions for the construction costs. This question is not even being answered by the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy (NAP JE) which the government will discuss in the near future. The NAP JE only says that the state will release 32 billion CZK for project preparation and obtaining permits [5]. The decision on whether the State or consumers will have to pay necessary financial support is left to the ministers’ successors.

Karel Polanecký, energy consultant of Hnutí DUHA, said:
The Energy Policy actually says that our energy can be far more modern and cleaner than today. In principle, the Ministry of Industry and Hnutí DUHA agree on that the Czech Republic is able to significantly reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, municipalities can produce their own clean electricity and lignite beneath people's homes and factories is not needed. However, Minister Mládek proposes to thrown it all away and start preparing nuclear reactors. And to try and break the mining limits anyway.

Jan Rovenský of Greenpeace ČR said:
"To approve the Energy Policy without a decision on the mining limits is like to build a car without one wheel with that you would add it later. If ministers feel like even after five years of negotiations they do not have enough information, they should have postponed an approval of the entire ASEK. This way it inevitably gives the impression that they want to put aside unpleasant decisions and leave tens of thousands of people in northern Bohemia – both citizens living in vulnerable communities and miners - to live in uncertainty as to what will happen to them."

Edvard Sequens of Calla said:
"It is evident that the EU energy policy goes in a completely different direction than the Czech one. In contrast to the Czech policy, reducing energy consumption is seen as a tool for greater energy security and competitiveness of the industry there. Transformation of the European electricity market will then put Czech consumers and taxpayers into a difficult situation - how to pay for nuclear visions of the current government."


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Comments:

  • [1] According to the ASEK, the coal consumption will decline by 73 percent, without people suffering from winter cold in the Czech Republic by 2040. This is thanks to the modernization of heating and heat distribution as well as shutdown of elderly wasteful heating power plants. ASEK also envisages the home insulation and clean heating sources (Updated State Energy Policy, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO), Prague 2014, pp. 104, Tab. 4).
  • [2] According to the Annex of the ASEK “Possible Scenarios of the Czech Energy Sector”, maintaining coal mining limits in the opencast mine ČSA is one of the explicit parameters of the optimized scenario (i.e. which was included in the ASEK) (Possible Scenarios of the Czech Energy Sector, MPO, Prague 2014, pp. 6).
  • [3] According to the optimized scenario, the gross electricity production from renewable energy sources (RES) is 20,2 TWh in 2040, compared to 5,9 TWh in 2010 (Updated State Energy Policy, MPO, Prague 2014, pp. 113, Tab. 8).
  • [4] Economic analysis of the Updated State Energy Policy, MPO, Prague 2014 (pp. 244-245, Tab. 71 and 72).
    • These days RES currently employ 14,485 people. In contrast, lignite mining and processing employs only 6,738 (Economic Analysis of the Updated State Energy Policy, MPO, Prague 2014, pp. 236, Tab. 65).
  • [5] In NAP JE, the Minister Mládek suggests to start preparing for the construction of two new reactors in Temelín NPP and two in Dukovany NPP. Yet the crucial and controversial decisions about its financing, that is, the structure and amount of the necessary guarantees for the investor, which would have to be paid by electricity consumers or taxpayers, should be delayed until 2025. Until then, however, the Minister proposes to spend up to 32 billion CZK for preparing and obtaining permits on both unprofitable projects (http://hnutiduha.cz/aktualne/ministr-mladek-chysta-obcanum-i-dalsim-vladam-jadernou-past ).

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