Renewable energy subsidies may not be granted to Czech operators

28.01.2016

Although the Czech Energy Regulatory Office has already promised the financial support for so called “green” power plants in the amount of EUR 1,55 billion, it seems the process will not go so easily. The office now surprisingly states that its own decision may not be valid. The reason is a letter received from Brussels which hesitates if the promised subsidies are “existing” and hence grantable.

In opinion of Jan Sladek, the minister of industry and trade, there is no reason for non-granting of these subsidies. Considering the letter as a private correspondence between the Office and the European Commission, he is going to wait for an official statement of the Commission.

The Ministry has already expressed the Commission should decide till the end of April. However, the first owners of solar, air or biogas plants should be granted the subsidies in February. If the Commission rejects the subsidies, the owners would probably have to pay the subsidies back.

The support of renewable energy can be rejected only if the Commission found it incompatible with the EU common market. On the other hand, it has already decided many times on the non-existence of subsidies, but the subsidies itself were not cut off.

The Czech Energy Regulatory Office has approved the subsidies just three days before the end of the last year after long hesitation. The office had argued by the missing opinion of the Commission. Even though the office has eventually approved the subsidies, the recent course of action has turned the owners back in the uncertainty.