Czechs to Push for Nuclear Future Amid Low Power Prices
The Czech Republic aims to increase the share of nuclear power in its energy mix even as neighboring Germany plans to shut down all of its atomic plants and prices of European electricity hover close to all-time lows.
The country’s new energy strategy categorizes nuclear power as “crucial” for preserving energy security, Deputy Industry Minister Pavel Solc said in an Oct. 9 interview conducted via e-mail. The strategy draft, subject to environmental assessment, is slated for the cabinet’s approval early next year.
With two nuclear-power stations and a fleet of coal-fired plants fed by lignite from local mines, the Czech Republic exports as much as 20 percent of its electricity production. Czechs will need to replace almost 3,500 megawatts of capacity by 2030, which will come mostly in the form of new atomic power, the deputy minister said.
“We’re unable to make up for it with renewable sources or increased energy efficiency,” Solc said. “By 2030, our export potential will completely disappear.”
CEZ AS, the largest Czech utility that operates the country’s two atomic stations, has twice delayed choosing the supplier of two new units at the Temelin power plant. It’s asking the government to provide guarantees on the purchase price of power to make the $10 billion project economically feasible. The state holds a 70 percent stake in the company.
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