Prague’s new climate plan focuses on reducing emissions by 45%

Martina Taxova, Trade Commissioner (Czech Republic)

The City of Prague approved the City’s draft Climate Plan until 2030. The ambitious document is to become the flagship of the effort for a carbon-neutral city in 2050. Its implementation over the next ten years envisions a reduction in the volume of carbon dioxide emissions by 45% compared to 2010. This is to be achieved through the implementation of 69 specific measures, which are divided into four sections in the plan – Sustainable Energy and Buildings, Sustainable Mobility, Circular Economics and Adaptation Measures.


Cost to end coal in the billions

Martina Taxova, Trade Commissioner (Czech Republic)

A joint study conducted by the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Association for District Heating of the Czech Republic, indicated that by the end of 2030, Czech heating plants will have to invest approximately 100 billion CZK (5.8 billion CAD) to switch from coal to gas. 

So far, tens of billions have been set aside in the funds being prepared for the transformation of the heating industry.  However, the final amount of public support has not yet been clearly determined. At today’s emission allowance prices, about 52 billion would come from the Modernization Fund and 1.7 billion from the National Recovery Fund. Heating plants with an output of more than one megawatt could also use operational support.

Companies are pushed to the use of more expensive low-carbon fuels by the rising price of emission allowances. Heating plants must purchase them as soon as each tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted from their operation. Since March 2021, the price of allowances has been above 40 EUR per tonne while in April 2020 they cost half.


Funding large heating supply projects in Czech Republic

Martina Taxova, Trade Commissioner (Czech Republic)

The State Fund for Environment has recently published HEAT Call No. 2 intended for large projects allocating CAD 294 million. The second subsidy call from the HEAT program is intended for heating plants (owners of heat supply systems) for the reconstruction or replacement of a heat source in heat supply systems. This call will support large projects with a support of over € 15 million. Priority will be given to reconstruction or replacement of a heat source in heat supply systems with a change of the fuel base or type of energy to: renewable energy sources in combination with high-efficiency cogeneration; energy recovery of waste (municipal waste, industrial waste, solid alternative fuel from municipal waste and from other category waste, sewage sludge) in combination with high-efficiency combined heat and power generation; electricity from renewable energy sources such as electric boilers; and waste heat energy in combination with high-efficiency cogeneration.

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Energy storing batteries would help ensure reliable operation of Baltic power systems – Augstsprieguma Tikls

Irena Cirule, Trade Commissioner (Latvia)

Energy storing batteries would help the Baltic States to ensure a smooth and reliable operation of their power systems, representatives of Augstsprieguma Tikls transmission system operator (TSO) told LETA, citing a feasibility study conducted by Japanese energy company Tepco Power Grid Inc.

The study shows that in order in increase renewable energy production, a number of technical measures are needed to ensure the stability of the power system and the security of energy supply, and using the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) has been suggested as one of such measures. 

According to Augstsprieguma Tikls representatives, the feasibility study shows that the development of the BESS is the best way for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to ensure smooth and reliable operation of their power systems when up to 100 percent electricity is generated from renewable energy sources. Specifically, 240 megawatt (MW) capacity of the grid forming type battery systems will countermeasure the lack of inertia associated with wind and solar generation. 

Latvenergo power utility implements placement of seven-year green bonds worth EUR 50 million

Irena Cirule, Trade Commissioner (Latvia)

On May 7, Latvia’s power utility Latvenergo implemented placement of seven-year green bonds in the total nominal value of EUR 50 million with a fixed annual interest rate of 0.5 percent and a yield to maturity 0.543 percent, LETA learned from the company. The total amount of the submitted purchase orders reached EUR 229.8 million.

The purchase orders were received from 24 investors, including asset management funds, insurance companies and banks in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Sweden, and international financial institutions – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Nordic Investment Bank. “This is already the second bond program for the issuance of notes under which we are issuing green bonds, and our aim is to invest in environmentally friendly projects. The high level of investor interest in green bonds confirms Latvenergo’s strategy to further increase the use of renewable energy sources, which means more hydro, solar, and wind power. It also acknowledges society’s wish to live in a sustainable environment,” said Guntars Balcuns, Chairman of the Management Board of Latvenergo.

Czech government approves environmental policy on lower emissions

Martina Taxova, Trade Commissioner (Czech Republic)

In 2021, the Czech Ministry of Environment approved a strategy to prioritize lowering emissions of harmful substances and greenhouse gases, along with more efficient use of water. The strategy has been incorporated into the State Environmental Policy of 2030 (SPŽP 2030), which states the country’s environmental vision to be accomplished by 2050.  SPŽP 2030 covers three main areas: Environment and Health, Climate Economy and Nature and Landscape, and sets ten strategic goals some of which include quality of water and air, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability and climate change.

Among these goals are issues of national and international significance, such as following the Paris Agreement, and targets for better implementation of local sustainable development. The document emphasizes strengthening the current standards of environmental protection. As a part of the new agreement, the Czech Republic will invest a record CZK 300 billion in the environment and climate protection over the next 10.

Latvian utility investing 75M EUR annually on modernization

Irena Cirule, Trade Commissioner (Latvia)

Power distribution company Sadales Tikls(ST) is planning investments of about EUR 75 million annually over the next ten years into reconstruction and modernization of the distribution system in accordance with the industry’s development trends and public demand. The company is planning to renovate 1,700 kilometers of power lines annually, at the same time revising and optimizing the overall grid coverage. 78 percent of the investments will go into reconstruction and renovation of the electricity network. Next year, 30 percent of total investments will go to reconstruction of electricity networks in densely populated areas, including in Riga center.

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