District heating in the Czech Republic still predominantly depends on coal with 53% share in 2018 on heat production, followed by natural gas with 19% share and 11% secured by biomass. Stricter air quality regulations and increasing EUA prices are slowly becoming a big concern for many coal based heat producers in Czech towns and municipalities. The decarbonization of the Czech central heating systems is a huge challenge.
That said increasing number of municipalities put their trust into clean energy from biomass, dominant renewable energy source in Czechia. Every year, several municipalities abandon old and inefficient coal or oil boilers, repair or broaden their heating distribution networks and substitute fossil fuels with biomass such as wood chips or pellets.
One recent example is the town of Roztoky in the vicinity of Křivoklátsko protected landscape area in Central Bohemia. Former manual coal boiler room with four boilers (3 MW in total) was reconstructed with two modern automatic biomass boilers (500 and 300 kW). The results are heat, which is 5% cheaper than with the previous technology, and much improved air quality. The municipality made a contract with Ivory Energy, company which specializes in similar projects. The company took the financial burden of reconstructing the local district heating, without the municipality’ financial involvement, and is now supplying heat to 15 apartment buildings, elementary school, kindergarten, store and town hall (with approx. 7 TJ per year). The investment reached 0,5 mil. eur and has been partially funded by ERDF. Roztoky is just one example of many, similarly successful, energy transformations, much needed in the Czech Republic.
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