Czech utility ČEZ should invest in PV not nuclear to catch up in energy transition: IEEFA

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
ČEZ plans to construct 6GW of renewables by 2030. Image: ČEZ Group.

The Czech Republic’s largest utility, ČEZ Group, should scale up its domestic solar PV portfolio over the next decade instead of pursuing new nuclear power plants, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has said.

An immediate and continuous investment in solar from the company would add much-needed renewables capacity, “transform ČEZ Group from laggard to leader” in renewables production domestically and achieve both Czech and European Union climate targets, the think tank said in a new report.

As part of a strategy announced last year to decarbonise its power generation, ČEZ aims to construct 6GW of renewables by 2030, phase out coal by 2033 and build a new nuclear power plant by 2037.

IEEFA, which said the utility is currently “playing catch-up on renewable energy”, warned that the proposed nuclear facility “could lead to a downgrade” of ČEZ’s credit rating, especially given the likelihood of construction delays and cost overruns.

Instead, the think tank said the majority state-owned ČEZ “should strongly commit to investing in new, large-scale solar PV capacities, which would deliver better value to the company, its shareholders and Czech taxpayers”.

“The decarbonisation plan’s financial risks outweigh its benefits for ČEZ and Czechia’s residents,” said Mihaela Grubišić Šeba, an energy finance analyst at IEEFA Europe. “Our findings suggest it may be more effective to be more aggressive on utility-scale solar photovoltaics than planned, which would be more cost-effective in the context of the company’s proposal.”

ČEZ’s efforts to bolster its presence in Europe’s solar sector saw its Elevion renewables arm complete the acquisition solar EPC and O&M service provider Belectric from German energy company RWE last month.

But domestically, IEEFA said the company has failed to establish a base of renewables generation over the last decade, and instead relies on its ageing coal and nuclear fleet.

Heightened solar PV investment from ČEZ would not jeopardise the Czech Republic’s electricity security, IEEFA said, because of power available from existing nuclear power plants, unused hydro potential and the accelerated development of battery storage technology.

Read Next

May 6, 2022
The European Union (EU) should set higher solar PV deployment targets and speed up the energy transition to phase out its energy dependency on Russia as soon as possible, according to five member states of the bloc.
April 12, 2022
India is set to fall well short of its 2022 solar target of 100GW of installed solar capacity due to the slow uptake of rooftop solar, according to a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and JMK Research.
March 25, 2022
Italian grid operator Terna will invest €9.5 billion (US$10.45 billion) to help improve the country's national transmission grid and build cross-border interconnections, paving the way for easier access for renewables.
March 18, 2022
The drive to electrify Sub-Saharan Africa will require US$350 billion of investment and could reveal an alternative vision for the energy transition that focuses on a decentralised, bottom-up solar-and-storage rich grid that takes advantage of cheap solar power, according to research firm Wood Mackenzie.
March 9, 2022
Eastern European solar markets face a familiar foe in grid constraints, especially with high voltage network capacity, but high energy prices are creating potential for merchant projects in the region.
March 9, 2022
The European Commission (EC) will look to simplify renewables permitting as part of a new strategy aimed at increasing the EU’s energy independence while ending its reliance on Russian gas before 2030.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 17, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Upcoming Webinars
May 17, 2022
4:00 PM (CEST) | About 30 minutes
Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA