The Czech Republic will be dependent on imported electricity from 2030, and there may be a shortage, ČEPS warns
12. 6. 2024
In just six years, the Czech Republic could find itself in a situation where it will have to start importing electricity in order to be able to cover its current consumption. This bleak scenario results from a new study by the ČEPS company, which on Wednesday published a document entitled "Evaluation of resource adequacy of the Czech electricity sector". The study models three possible scenarios for the development of electricity production and consumption in the country, all of which indicate that the Czech Republic cannot do without electricity imports.

Dependence on imports from Germany and France
According to the progressive and decarbonization scenario, the Czech Republic will be at risk of importing from 2030, which means that it will be dependent on the import of electricity from surplus countries such as Germany and France. According to the study, electricity could also be imported from some Scandinavian countries. The third scenario, labeled as conservative, also assumes an increase in imports, with the total import balance (of electricity import and export) exceeding the limit set by the state's current energy policy, which is a maximum of ten percent of electricity consumption per year.
"In order to maintain the safety and reliability of electricity supplies, in the long term the Czech Republic cannot do without the construction of additional nuclear sources and at the same time the introduction of a capacity mechanism to support flexible sources," warns the Deputy Chairman of the Board of ČEPS Svatopluk Vnouček.

The importance of decarbonisation and renewables
The key factor for the individual scenarios is the year when electricity production from coal will be diverted. The conservative scenario envisages the end of coal burning in 2038, which was previously proposed by the expert coal commission. The progressive model assumes the end of coal resources by 2033, which corresponds to the program of the current government. The most ambitious is the decarbonization scenario, which envisages the end of burning coal as early as 2030.
The decarbonization scenario also assumes a significant increase in electricity consumption due to the development of electromobility and heat pumps, but also due to a faster transition of industry to electricity. It estimates that electricity consumption will reach 112 terawatt hours in 2040, while last year's total consumption was 74 TWh.
On the other hand, the scenario also includes an increase in electricity production from wind and solar power plants. Another nuclear source is planned only from 2036. The conservative scenario estimates a lower increase in electricity consumption until 2040 at 83 TWh and the progressive scenario at 98 TWh.

Lack of electricity and LOLE
According to the decarbonization scenario, already in 2030, electricity production together with normal imports would not be enough to cover the consumption of the Czech Republic for 105 hours per year. In 2040, this deficit could increase to 1085 hours per year, i.e. roughly a month and a half. Currently, in the Czech Republic, this "deficiency" is only permissible for 15 hours per year.
"The document shows that in order to maintain the safety and reliability of electricity supplies, the Czech Republic will necessarily need new nuclear sources and capacity mechanisms," adds Vnouček.

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