“The future belongs to solar energy”: Czech Deputy Prime Minister, Karel Havlicek, discusses the country’s energy future at the 2021 Solar Conference

The Czech Republic will move away from coal, and renewable sources will play a key role in its replacement, according to Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček. There is no other way, he said. At the fifth edition of the Solar Conference 2021, the biggest event of the year dedicated to solar energy and storage in the Czech Republic. The main topics of discussion included the future of solar in the Czech Republic, the impact of key legislation, and new sources of funding – namely, the Modernisation Fund and the National Renewal Plan.

Around the world solar is experiencing an unprecedented boom, with more and more countries seeing it as a key part of their energy future. Representatives of the private sector also agreed on its importance for the Czech Republic. 

“All indications are that the European Union will increase its green energy targets. In the future, new renewable sources of electricity may also enable the production of green hydrogen and power electric cars in the Czech Republic. The solar industry is poised to play a key role in the energy transition. But this will not happen in the current unpredictable investor environment, without stability and clear political commitment. Instead of planning for the future, in the Czech Republic we are dealing with eleven-year-old issues around the adequacy of support for old sources,” said Jan Krčmář, Chairman of the Board of the Czech Solar Association.

Daniel Beneš, First Vice President of the Confederation of Industry and Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEZ, spoke about the future of renewables: “Climate neutrality has long been no longer just a topic for the European Union, but is growing globally. Renewables will be a significant growth segment globally, with photovoltaic power plants on rooftops, brownfields and industrial sites playing a key role in the Czech Republic.”

Solar is undergoing a new growth period in the Czech Republic. “Last year, more than ever, households and businesses were thinking about energy security and self-sufficiency. Installers from among our members are building more and more rooftop power plants,” confirmed Veronika Šilhová, Executive Director of the Czech Solar Association. 

“We are also seeing the first completely subsidy-free projects, which are common in the rest of Europe, but for which we lack a more active market and a stable investment environment. The Modernisation Fund will undoubtedly bring further impetus, but at the same time the whole renewable energy sector is hampered by the controversial amendment to the Act on Supported Sources, which is currently being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies,” added  Šilhová.

Thank you for the contributions to this article by the National Czech Solar Association. 

photo credit: Shutterstock / Peteri

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