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Source base of the Czech Republic power system

Figure 4.1 Decline in the main coal power plants



Medium-term horizon

  • In the period between 2020 and 2023, a number of plants will be decommissioned due to non-compliance with emission limits. Decommissioning of these sources have been foreseen for a long time. For example, sources Prunéřov I, Ledvice 2, Melnik II, Melnik III and Tisova I.
  • Significant decline in brown coal fired power plants capacity will probably lead to a decrease in the electricity export balance.
  • As the brown coal is running out, affected heating plants will change their fuel base partly to natural gas, partly to biomass. The use of heat from the Temelín NPP is also expected to be used to supply České Budějovice since 2023, in all case studies.
  • Changes in the application of biogas are also to be anticipated. As direct firing of biogas at the points of its production is not energy efficient unless heat supplies are provided in a large scope, the development of biogas power plants may stop and the biogas production be “redirected” towards its processing to pure methane and its direct use in gas network with at least double energy efficiency. These system changes are conditioned by suitable definition of economic support for biogas production at the expanse of electricity from biogas.
  • The share of sources with intermittent production, mainly the photovoltaic but also wind power plants, will grow. Considerable demands on regulation - sufficient amount of quick-reacting regulation sources, systems of electricity accumulation and ”non-electric” accumulation (hydrogen generation, or the next step, i.e. production of synthetic methane) will result from such composition of power source base. Huge amount of photovoltaic sources will raise the issue of reactive power which requires a system of voltage regulation especially in low voltage networks.
  • Opportunities for firing of municipal waste are also limited. Total production of municipal waste currently gives scope to new incineration plants as there are 4 incineration plants for 14 administration regions. Nevertheless, with respect to the fact that sorting of waste for the sake of recycling will grow, electricity generation by firing of municipal waste cannot be anticipated to principally solve energy imbalance of other primary sources.
  • No great changes can be expected in the hydroelectric sector as all exploitable locations have been occupied and the increase in production can only be affected by application of new small-scale sources or by increased efficiency within renovation of the existing plants. In theory, only a potential construction of a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant can be considered. There is a number of geographically suitable locations however, all intentions ended up with no implementation.

Long-term horizon

  • In the period up to 2040, especially in the period from 2035 to 2040, there will be a significant decline in coal produced power. Within this period, deposits in some of the mining locations will be exhausted concurrently with reaching technical lifespan of the power plants. The technical lifetime of the boiler park, turbines and desulphurization plants will be reached. In the years 2035 to 2040, several large brown coal fired power plants will be decommissioned, namely Tušimice II, Prunéřov II, Chvaletice and Počerady. 2040 should not be the definitive end of coal power, eg Ledvice 4 unit should be in operation by around 2055, which corresponds to its lifetime and corresponds to existing coal reserves.
  • The composition of primary energies for the energy sector will change significantly. A substantial decrease in the share of coal will result in a significant increase in the share of natural gas. Its role will be especially in the heating industry, where it will replace the existing role of coal to a large extent, but it will be used more significantly in the independent production of electricity compared to the present.
  • The total installed electrical capacity of the Czech power system will in 2060 increase from the current 22.3 GW to the total output (without storage systems, but including existing PVE):

- 27.9 GW in the Concept Case Study,

- 53.4 GW in the New Technologies case study,

- 36.2 GW in the Conservative Case Study.

  • The increase in RES, in particular the development of PV and VTE, will mean a large number of sources of low-installed capacity. The source base will therefore be highly spread in terms of unit installed capacity in the future.
  • RES are to be on the increase much faster than at present. It will affect operation of electrical grids as the new RES will mostly be distributed.
  • As the present coal power plants provide also ancillary services, their decommissioning will result in worsened balance of regulation capabilities. This deficit will have to be settled by construction of new regulating sources, for example natural gas fired simple cycle units. In the Conceptual case study, the issue is solved by 3 gas engine units by 40 MW each, in the New Technologies case study by 8 simple cycle turbines by 160 MW each, in the Conservative case study then by combination of both the above types (3× gas engines by 40 MW each and 5× simple cycle turbines by 160 MW each).
  • To ensure daily electricity accumulation, capacity of 570 MW will be required in the Conceptual study by 2060, capacity of ca. 7,000 MW in the New Technologies case study and capacity of ca. 3,000 MW in the Conservative case study.
  • With respect to the large scope of RES in the New Technologies case study, seasonal accumulation will also have to be applied in the form of hydrogen generation in total scope of 2,000 MW. All case studies moreover anticipate use of pumped storage hydroelectric power plants for accumulation with total capacity of 1.2 GW.
  • In relation to ending lifespan of coal heating plants, capacity of small-scale CHP units using natural gas will grow - from the present 390 MW to more than 800 MW in the Conceptual and Conservative case studies and to ca. 1,200 MW in the New Technologies case study.