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Primary energy sources

The change in structure of primary sources for the electricity and heating industries is an important factor of the long-term development of the Czech power system. It will mean a considerable change in types of primary sources and as a consequence a great change in self-sufficiency. In summary, the long-term development can be characterised by departure from coal, larger share of nuclear energy, more important application of natural gas and increase in renewable sources. These changes will take place gradually throughout the entire period up to the horizon of 2050 though step changes are to take place in some time profiles.

Medium-term horizon

  • Brown coal production will decrease in all case studies. An important moment is to be the termination of brown coal mining in the ČSA mine in around 2025 which will affect many heating plants and will lead to reduced production of sorted brown coal for the low consumption sector (production loss of ca. 2.5 mil. tons). The termination of mining activities is implied by present validity of land-ecological limits. Even if they were cancelled, there would be a delay in supplies from this mine as the overburden has not been removed for quite a long time. Further mining activities may only be considered after 2030.
  • The quarries, which are not blocked by limits any more (e.g. DNT and Bílina), will produce smaller volumes of coal as they are often connected to the lifespan of local power plants. Mining of the remaining reserves will be slower and some of the existing consumers will have to be ruled out.
  • Domestic mining of hard coal may hardly be considered to last longer than till 2028. It means that the limited number of heating sources currently using domestic hard coal (apart from the Dětmarovice power plant planned to be decommissioned; ca. 500MW of installed capacity) will have to import hard coal from abroad or switch to a different fuel.
  • Consumption of natural gas used for the growing number of small combined production sources will gradually increase.
  • Use of biomass co-fired with coal is anticipated to grow as well as electricity production from biogas which will strongly depend on the decision if the support keeps being conditioned by the use of heat.


Securing of primary energy sources for the electricity and heating industries

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Long-term horizon

  • Brown coal mining will keep decreasing to the target value of ca. 50 PJ in the Conceptual case study and down to zero in the EU case studies. Important scope of mining will be terminated and therefore also operation of large sources such as Tušimice II and Prunéřov II (by the DNT mine); the same applies to sources supplied by coal from the Sokolov district (especially the Vřesová heating plant, Vřesová CCGT, Plzeň heating plant etc.).
  • Sorted coal for the low consumption sector (ca. 3 mil. tons today) will cease to exist and all the remaining reserves will be destined for selected sources such as the new source in Ledvice which is just being commissioned.
  • Hard coal will probably not be mined any more. After 2023, ca. 2 mil. tons will have to be imported for example from Poland; even Polish export capabilities are however uncertain. Nevertheless, imports from further distances cannot be excluded, either by train from Russia or through West European ports from overseas locations. In the Conceptual case study, the imports are necessary up to 2050; in the EU case studies, the need drops down to zero after 2045.
  • Use of natural gas will increase considerably. It will be applied in generation of baseload and semi-peak electricity in large steam-gas sources as well as in the small-scale and large-scale heating industry. As RES will develop rapidly, quick start gas fired units will have to be constructed, especially in the EU – Low-Emission Sources case study. Natural gas consumption for the electricity and heating industries will increase from present ca. 1 bcm up to a value exceeding 5 bcm. Natural gas sources capable of faster implementation than nuclear sources may, to a large extent, participate in covering of balance insufficiencies in case of delays in construction of new nuclear sources. It implies considerable fluctuation in gas consumption which shows temporary increase between 2035 and 2045 in all case studies.
  • Application of renewable sources will gradually increase; in the case of the EU – Low-Emission Sources case study, it will involve limit utilization of natural potential of RES in the Czech Republic (especially solar and wind power plants). Increase in electricity production from biomass and biogas is also anticipated. In spite of the EU case studies anticipating limit use of these fuels, their share in the balance is only supplementary. According to each case study, biomass consumption for the energy sector will amount to 7 to 8.5 mil. tons per year in 2050.