According to Zervos and Kjaer (2008), the Czech Republic’s legislative frame- work in relation to renewable energy sources has been strengthened by a new Act, adopted in 2005, and a government order regulating the minimum amount of biofuels or other renewable energy fuels that must be available for motor fuel purposes. Targets for increasing renewable energy sources in total primary energy consumption have been set at national level.
• A feed-in system for the use of renewable energy sources for the generation electricity and cogeneration, which was established in 2000. A new Act, adopted in 2005, extending this system by offering a choice between a guaranteed price and an amount paid on top of the market price;
• A 15–16 % share of renewable energy sources in total primary energy consumption by 2030 has been set as a target at national level. The Czech Republic’s renewable energy source percentage of total primary energy consumption is currently approximately 3 %. A very gradual increase can be observed in the use of renewable energy source’s share of gross electricity consumption in the past years.
The construction of new wind power plants in Europe is the fastest growing source of energy not only from renewable energy sources, but considering other types of energy source as well. However, in the Czech Republic, there is a high tendency to stop a development of the cheapest sources of energy and in the year 2013 was installed only 5 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 8 MW. It does not mean that the government does not have the possibility to install more wind power capacity, but the current total wind-installed capacity of 343 MW in 2012 is in real term one-tenth of the realistic potential of the Czech Republic. This capacity rep- resents 1.66 % of the total energy capacity installed in the country and 8.42 % of the total renewables capacity installed in that year. The country occupies the place number 32 at world level according to the wind power capacity installed (0.12 % of world total) and the place number 20 at regional level (0.31 % of the regional total).
Total energy production from wind power plants in the Czech Republic grew by 62.4 GWh last year to 478 GWh. This corresponds to the coverage of the energy consumption of around 136,000 households. It is 0.7 % of the total gross consumption in the Czech Republic—in the EU, it is 7.8 %. In 2013, the country installed only 9 MW in new wind capacity. In total, only four new projects were implemented in that year. In total, in 2013, the country has installed 269 MW of wind power. It has been estimated that available wind energy potential in the Czech Republic corresponds to a power of about 2,700 MW.
It is important to highlight that since 2008, wind power plants increased very slowly. Paradoxically, in the NREAP approved, the government has a space to an annual growth of about 45 MW up to 2020, which means that the country should achieve a total installed capacity of 743 MW of wind energy in that year. To achieve the wind capacity to be installed in 2020, the country needs to install 474 MW new wind power capacity during the period 2014–2020. If the trend in the construction of new wind power capacity of the past five years does not change significantly, then this goal cannot be fulfilled.
On the other hand, the government just stopped the support for new wind energy installations. On this issue, Stepan Chalupa, Vice Chairman of the CzWEA, said “it is incomprehensible that the state is revoking the support for the wind energy—the cheapest source ever, which is supported by hundreds of millions of crowns annually only, whereas for instance the coal power plants in the Czech Republic bring the external costs of 51 billion crowns annually and these costs do not pay the operators of coal power plants, but these costs are taken from public funds and will influence the future generations.” The production of electricity from wind power plants saved 470,000 tons of coal in the Czech Republic, comparing to the same amount of the electricity produced from coal power plants. There are further limitations in the use of wind power for the generation of electricity. They are the following:
• Attitude of landowners to wind power projects;
• Attitude of municipalities to wind power projects;
• Attitude of regional authorities to wind power projects:
• Limitations due to environmental impact assessment;
• Network capacity and possibilities of the wind power integration into the power system;
• Other limitations (public opinion, etc.) (Orságová et al.).12
Compared to Europe trends where continues the development of the wind power and renewable energy sources, the Czech Republic supports nuclear power development and using of the reserves of coal instead. The Czech’s NREAP forecasts that the country will exceed its 2020 renewable target of 13 % by half a percentage point. Electricity from renewables should represent 14.3 % of consumption by then, according to the plan, despite an almost 20 % increase in electricity consumption from 2010.
The NREAP banks on a net growth in wind capacity of 50 MW per year in 2020. Whereas such a capacity increase is consistent with past net average annual growth rates, it would result in an unambitious 2020 cumulative capacity of 743 MW, less than half of EWEA’s scenario of between 1,600 and 1,800 MW (Table 5.13).
The wind power capacity installed in the country during the period 2002–2013 increased 89.7-fold (from 3 MW in 2002 to 269 MW in 2013). During that period, the wind capacity installed in the country increased in each one of the years considered. The maximum increase was achieved in 2003.
On the other hand, the NREAP estimates that wind power will cover less than 2 % of gross electricity consumption, well below EWEA’s 3.4–3.8 % estimate. Although the NREAP is lower than EWEA’s estimates, even its unambitious tar- gets will be difficult to meet with the changes in the support mechanism and the insufficient simplification of the long authorization procedures outlined in the plan (EWEA 2011).
Generation of Electricity Using Wind Energy
The evolution of the generation of electricity using wind energy in the Czech Republic during the period 2008–2012 is shown in Fig. 5.27.
According to Fig. 5.27, the generation of electricity using wind energy in the Czech Republic during the period 2008–2012 increased 70.2 %. It is expected that the use of wind energy for the generation of electricity in the Czech Republic will continue increasing during the coming years, if the government wishes to achieve the objective about the role given to this type of energy source in the energy mix of the country in 2020.