Czech Republic 2021 – Analysis


A key challenge of the Czech Republic’s energy sector over the next decade is to prepare for the phase-out of coal from the energy mix. As the country’s only domestic fossil fuel, coal has been and still is a key energy source in the Czech Republic. In 2019, it accounted for one-third of total energy supply, 46% of electricity generation and over 25% of residential heating. The role of coal in total energy supply (TES) declined by 19% from 2009 to 2019, primarily driven by reduced coal-fired power generation that was replaced by natural gas, bioenergy, nuclear and solar photovoltaic (PV). Coal still accounts for half of total domestic energy production, despite a 36% decrease since 2009.

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic strongly affected coal production, which decreased by 24% compared to 2019 The contribution of coal in TES declined by 15%, mainly driven by a decreased use of coal in electricity generation (-17%). The share of coal in electricity generation decreased to 41% in 2020, and was replaced by natural gas, bioenergy, nuclear and solar PV.

Renewables do not yet play a major role in TES in the Czech Republic, although their share has increased by 71% since 2009, reaching 16% of total final energy consumption (TFEC) in 2019, mainly driven by bioenergy. Renewables accounted for 22% in heating and cooling, 14% in electricity generation, and less than 8% in transport in 2019.

The declining coal consumption between 2009 and 2019 has contributed to a 15% reduction in the carbon intensity of the economy and a 22% reduction of carbon intensity of electricity and heat generation, though for both indicators the Czech Republic remained above the IEA average in 2019. Between 2019 and 2020, both the carbon intensity of the economy and the carbon intensity of electricity generation dropped by 6%, because of the decrease of coal use in TES and electricity generation, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The country has shown a decoupling between economic growth and energy consumption since 2009, but its energy intensity remains above the IEA average.

The transport and building sectors drove growth in final energy consumption, while demand from industry declined. Overall, total final consumption has increased by 2% since 2009.

After declining noticeably from 2005 to 2015, the Czech Republic’s total greenhouse gas emissions have been relatively stable, and more efforts are needed to reach the 2030 target of reducing emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels. To note, however, that energy-related emissions decreased by 14% between 2009 and 2019, reflecting the reduced role of coal in the energy sector.

Looking forward, the government is revising the country’s energy policy and related legal and regulatory framework. This in-depth review and its recommendations are intended to contribute to the development of the new State Energy Policy (SEP) and related policies and measures.

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