Low power prices sap solar power dream
23. 11. 2015 | Source: BusinessInfo.cz
Czech government expects dozens of family-home solar electricity “mini-plants” to be created by 2020.
Only a month ago the ČEZ energy group began offering customers the opportunity to have simplified home solar electricity generators installed in family homes. Its forecasts anticipated that in the ensuing years thousands more homes could obtain such units.
The Czech state is gradually formulating the legal framework around which households could install solar cells on their roofs, even without a supplementary subsidy programme enabling the selling of surplus electricity into the national grid. Over the summer, new energy legislation came into effect which no longer calls for the licensing of electricity generation up to 10 kilowatts.
The environment ministry has created the New Green Economy programme. It offers investment subsidies for domestic solar panels, to be combined with redirecting unused electricity into home water boiler heating or storage batteries. The subsidies range from CZK 50-100,000 per installation. The Czech Industrial Photovoltaic Association [CZEPHO] estimates 1,200 households will make use of the incentives.
Meanwhile, the trade and industry ministry expects that over the next five years more than 70,000 domestic electricity "mini-plants" will spring up in households. According to a study commissioned by CZEPHO, the solar subsidies will see a return on investment within 10-15 years. "Only households are capable of accepting such a long return on investment," said Tomáš Baroch of CZEPHO. But he also realistically added: "Falling electricity prices are a factor working against creating one's own power source. While demand for domestic photovoltaic panels is far from tiny, even the numbers in the updated action plan will likely not be taken up."
Originally published in E15 weekly, economic and business newsmagazine. Author: Jan Stuchlík