Free from Fossil Gas: A New Path towards Climate Neutrality in Czechia

31. srpnja 2023

Free from Fossil Gas: A New Path towards Climate Neutrality in Czechia

31. srpnja 2023

Agora EnergieWende and their partners have created a new decarbonization scheme with the goal of ending our dependence on fossil gas by 2050. The scheme analyzes the situation on the multinational European level and describes in detail the necessary steps to be taken in a few countries in particular. The countries in question are Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Greece, and Slovenia. As for us, we are happy to have been able to contribute to the strategic plan for the Czech Republic.

A large part of the models used in the study was created in 2022, so we can already see that some parts of the scheme differ from reality.

About the study

The model described in the study shows a possible development over five-year increments for three sectors: the energy sector, and the heavy industry and construction sectors. The detailed analysis of the Czech situation is dedicated to the energy and construction sectors in particular.

The scheme focusing on the energy sector includes the potential calculated costs and revenue for the development of renewable energy sources, hydrogen, nuclear sources, or energy storage. Additional regional topics of interest included in the analysis are conversion processes (especially electrolysis), the development of infrastructure and cross-border capacities, flexibility, and many more.

The focus within the heavy industry sector is placed decisively on the future possibility of electrification, a circular economy, as well as heat pump integration. The study also explores the future potential usage of residual heat, biomass, and green gas.

Within the construction industry, the analysis focuses on increased energy efficiency, the development of heat pumps and remote heating control, the utilization of biomass, solar and geothermal technology, the development of green gases, and especially hydrogen fuel.

To read the whole multinational study, click here.

The Czech scheme

The scheme for the Czech Republic describes how to lower the Czech emissions burden by 64% by 2030, and even by 96% by 2050 (as compared to the situation in 1990). A lion’s share of the projected change has to do with the energy system transformation and its corresponding development of renewable energy sources. The energy transition is then also linked to the electrification of many industry sectors and the increase in energy efficiency.

The study counts on a relatively significant development of hydrogen fuel technologies after the year 2030. The Czech Republic is expected to be on the import side of things; according to the study, we will be considerably more focused on consuming rather than producing hydrogen fuel. The study remains optimistic about the speed and extent of new technology implementation within the country in many areas. On the other hand, it does also mention areas that clearly have potential for significantly faster development.

The study predicts that consumers will require almost twice as much electricity in 2050 than now. However, it also expects a much smarter approach to electricity utilization. Our team at Nano Energies fully supports that; we also believe in a greater focus on flexibility on the consumer side as part of such an approach.

If this topic interests you, read our previous study about flexibility.

Click here to learn more.

How do different sectors compare?

According to the study, the energy sector can get rid of its dependence on coal by 2030 and on gas by 2050. By 2030, we could have 30% of electricity from renewable energy sources; by 2050, it could even be 62%.

Given the recent speed of photovoltaic plant installation, we might be able to achieve these numbers even earlier than predicted. The rest of the energy mix is set to be completed by nuclear energy and new technologies, especially the above mentioned hydrogen fuel. To maintain grid stability, it is necessary to increase cross-border capacities in addition to focusing on flexibility.

The Czech heavy industry sector was not one of the chosen case studies of the analysis, but the general regional conclusions are included nonetheless. Electrification and the utilization of residual heat are crucial. The lowering of dependency on gas is much slower within the Czech industry sector; the study expects a dependency decrease by 22% by 2030.

In the construction sector, we have a huge potential for lowering costs, especially by way of energy performance restriction and heating system transformation. Our energy efficiency can be significantly increased by modernizing building envelopes and other technologies.

For a heating transformation, increased electrification and development of heat pumps are key. In this area, we surpass the predictions of the model. Last year, approximately 60 thousand heat pumps were installed in the Czech Republic. If this trend continues, we can move the predictions of the model up to reach the described goals 5 years earlier. By 2027, new buildings are expected to be constructed with no gas or coal usage whatsoever. In the area of central heating the study expects the lowering of set temperatures, so that the whole system is able to integrate modern technologies better. Increased efficiency is expected, even if no energy revolution is in the works.

Read the complete analysis of the energy situation in the Czech Republic.

Overall, the analysis provides one of the potential schemes for reaching almost zero emissions within our energy usage. Some predictions are quite optimistic. There is space for polemic about the relative importance of hydrogen fuel development, or about our ability to get rid of our fossil gas dependency in the construction sector by 2027. With other predictions, we can see that change can be achieved significantly faster, given the current Czech reaction to the energy crisis. The model expects that we would not be able to function without Russian gas only around 2027, but as of 2023, no Russian gas is being used in the country at all. The development of renewable energy sources is very possible, and in the case of photovoltaics, the prediction model might even be too conservative. And when it comes to the electrification of heating and consumption flexibility, we might all be very pleasantly surprised in the years to come.

Do you have any questions about the study? Any comments or concerns? Let us know – there are many paths toward a modern and sustainable usage of energy. And we love nothing more than to talk about the decarbonization options in the Czech Republic.