Czech wind power growth stalls

Wind power growth in the Czech Republic all but dried up last year, with only four new projects added with a total capacity of 8MW – leaving the country with an installed base of 268MW at the end of 2013.

Michal Janecek, chairman of the Czech Wind Energy Association (CSVE), said: “The cheapest domestic renewable resource is in strong decline."

CSVE points out that in stark contrast to the rest of Europe, where there continues to be strong support for developing wind and renewable energy sources, the Czech Republic was instead supporting the development of coal and nuclear power.

Janecek says that wind power installations in the Czech Republic have increased very slowly, with the exception of 2012 – and claims at the current rate the country will not be able to meet the wind goals for 2020 set out in its national energy action plan.

He adds that one of the main reasons for this slowdown is highly sophisticated opposition measures to wind power in local regions where wind has the best potential.

In addition, the government has introduced changes to the Czech renewables support system, which took effect from the start of 2013, when the feed-in tariff was abolished for all renewables projects over 100kW and for hydro power projects exceeding 10MW.

“It is incomprehensible why the state is revoking its support for wind energy – the cheapest ever power source – while massively financially supporting coal plants in the Czech Republic,” says Stepan Chalupa, vice-chairman of CSVE.

Chalupa says: “We are promoting old technologies that have failed, despite massive support from public funds for more than half a century.

“Instead we are voluntarily giving up our participation in the third industrial revolution – the changeover to modern renewable energy technologies, producing a clean environment, local employment and energy independence,” he adds.