Minister Síkela is delaying the development of community energy

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been making nice noises about renewable energy sources for some time now, but the action has been elusive. Facebook photo by Jozef Síkela

After many years of stagnation in the Czech legislation to support the production of energy from renewable sources, the first swallows of proposals are finally appearing, which could lead to stimulating greater interest in them. However, a fundamental impulse that would draw municipalities, small companies, associations and households into the production of their own energy on a large scale is still missing. At the same time, it is a strategic interest to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, Minister Síkela’s latest statement about the next amendment to the Energy Act brought more doubts than hope.

On Monday, the government sent to the House of Representatives this year’s umpteenth amendment to the Energy Act. This time, its subject is the simplification of obligations for renewable sources, especially photovoltaics. According to the proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the limit above which a license for electricity production is required is to be set at 50 kW instead of the current 10 kW. The limit is also increased to 50 kW if you want to place photovoltaics on existing buildings without a building permit.

The current limit of 10 kW for photovoltaic licenses means that schools, associations or small businesses, in short, those who do not do business with electricity, but only reduce energy bill. The question remains, however, why this activity, which is not a business, should be subject to a license at all, whether up to the limit of 50 kW or any higher. In Slovakia, for example, for devices up to 1 MW — i.e. with twenty times the capacity — a mere notification of activity is sufficient.

So moving the limit of the license is certainly the right step, but completely insufficient. At the same time, renewable energy sources in our country face many other administrative and technical obstacles. One of the most bizarre is phase measurement — we have this as the only country in Europe, and only because of it we are dependent on a miniature market of specialized inverters, long permitting procedures or speculative reservations of distribution network capacities, where no other source can then be connected. But it is also the absence of embedding community energy in our legislation.

Community energy enables all interested parties, apart from large companies, not only to produce energy for their own consumption, but especially to share it, whether for example between buildings owned by the same city, or between neighbours, companies or farmers. Once small consumers and producers are allowed to share, installing their own resources becomes much more attractive.

You are not dependent only on your own production and consumption, which can be irregular or timed at an inopportune time. Sharing makes it possible to use the produced energy with other members of your energy community, without being dependent on selling energy to large traders. And that under conditions and at prices determined directly by the energy community.

According to the statements of politicians of all possible parties, officials and people from the field, almost everyone sees the benefits of community energy, including Minister Síkela and Minister Hubáčková. Nevertheless, the preparation of the amendment to the Energy Act is still stalling. According to European legislation, it should have been completed last summer. According to the assignment of the coalition K5 this summer. According to the officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, it should be the first week of October.

Last week, a seminar on community energy was held in the Chamber of Deputies, at which Minister Síkela declared that he would prepare an accelerated amendment with community energy “if it is decided”. But who, other than the managing minister, should decide on this? Thus, proclamations still remain proclamations, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade is in no hurry, even in the ongoing energy crisis, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels through domestic renewable resources.


Source: Deník referendum by denikreferendum.cz.

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