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Pushing wind farms  

New Minister of the Environment Petr Kalaš (unaffiliated) is urging power provider ČEZ, 67 percent owned by the state, to invest proceeds from carbon credit trading into the development of renewable sources.

Currently, 4 percent of electricity output comes from renewable sources, such as wind, hydroelectric, solar or biomass products. The Czech Republic has a goal of doubling this to 8 percent by 2010, although now it’s only on target to reach 6 percent by that time, Ladislav Pazdera, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s ecological energy department, has said.

By 2020, the European Union aims to raise “green” electricity to 20 percent of total output.

In 2005, ČEZ produced 1.6 terrawatt hours of renewable energy. In H1 this year the producer raised renewable output year-on-year to 1.17 terrawatt hours from 0.89 terrawatt hours. Wind power dropped by a third year-on-year, which the company attributed to aging wind farms.

ČEZ will invest nearly Kč 30 billion (E 1 billion) over the next 15 years into renewable sources, with two-thirds of that going to the development of wind farms, and has prepared three plans to increase output between a minimum 20 percent to 1.9 terrawatt hours or a maximum 100 percent to 3.2 terrawatt hours by the end of the decade.

Kalaš met with ČEZ chairman Martin Roman last week to discuss the issue and urge the power company to invest more into modern technologies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. “We’re contemplating steps to implement [the environment minister’s proposals],” ČEZ spokeswoman Eva Nováková told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

The government is currently completing a national allocation plan for CO2 credits for the second phase of the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

ČEZ had a surplus of 2.6 million CO2 credits last year and earned Kč 1.1 billion from trading. The power provider expects more this year, ČEZ’s executive director for sales and trading Alan Svoboda told CBW in August. “We will have more because we’ve reduced production in coal units,” he said. As of March 31 this year, ČEZ had Kč 234 million in emission rights assets.


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