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Greenhouse gas and pollutants emissions

Reduction in pollutant emissions is globally addressed by the Gothenburg Protocol (Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution) which modifies the limits for SO2, NOx and NH3, VOC and solid particles. Its revision of 2012 newly defines the share of emission reduction compared to 2005 for the 2020–2029 period. For each country, limits are defined on a case-by-case basis and should be met in compliance with the defined time schedule. The EU has incorporated the protocol requirements into the reviewed Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction in national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants ratified at the end of 2016. The Directive adopted the limits for reduction in the above substances for the 2020–2029 period and also defined the targets for the period after 2030. The Directive was incorporated into Czech legislation by an amendment to Act No. 201/2012 Coll., on Air Protection. The amendatory Act came into effect on 1st September 2018.

Medium-term horizon

At present, the Czech Republic's source base is largely composed of coal-fired sources, accommodating almost 50% of total electricity demand and nearly 60% of all heat consumption. Given the country's reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 34%, the 2020 target has been met in advance. At the same time, the EU-wide 2020 target to reduce emissions by 20% compared to 1990 has also been achieved ahead of time. With no significant changes in the fuel mix of the source base expected to occur before 2030, none of the presented case studies meet the GHG emission target set for 2030. By contrast, the Czech energy sector is much more successful with respect to pollutant emissions and is already showing significant reductions compared to 2005. The analysed case studies show a substantial drop in the production of emissions immediately after 2020 due to compliance with Directive 2010/75/EU. In 2030, SP emissions are reduced by 70–73%, SO2 by 85–86% and NOX by 73–75% compared to 2005.

Long-term horizon

In the long term, up to 2060, the individual case studies differ. In the Conceptual case study, greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by 76% compared to 2005 by 2050. The aim of the New Technologies and Conservative case studies is to maximize CO2 eqv. emission reduction by all available means: nuclear power plants, renewable sources, new technologies for maximum utilization of intermittent production or direct reduction in emissions, etc. Despite all that, the development of natural gas fired units, also utilized for power supply, and does not allow for emissions to be reduced down to the level of targets set in the EU Energy Roadmap 2050. The New Technologies case study expects a decrease of 80% by 2050 and 85% by 2060 compared to 2005. In the Conservative case study, emissions are reduced by 83% in 2050 and by 87% in 2060. Reduction in pollutant emissions is considerably influenced by the transition to natural gas, nuclear power and renewable sources, making it possible to achieve reductions of 93 to 99% compared to 2005 in all case studies.

Figure 8.1 Greenhouse gas emissions from power generation