As early as Wednesday, the cabinet will also address the topic of fees for renewable energy sources (RES) as part of the debates on the consolidation package. The government forgave people some time ago due to the increase in energy prices. It was 600 crowns for each megawatt hour consumed, i.e. roughly 1,800 crowns per year for a 3+1 apartment.
In the sum of 36 billion crowns, which the state paid for consumers since last fall. Energy prices are falling, so it is being decided whether the state will continue to help with fees and in what amount, or whether the concessions will end. Even the government colleagues, the Minister of Finance and Industry, do not yet agree on a solution.
While Jozef Síkela (MPO) wants the state to pay the full fee, Zbyněk Stanjura (MF) already prefers to return the system from previous years. These payments were split between the state and the customer. ODS MEP Alexandr Vondra proposes a different solution.
According to him, the fees could be paid from money from emission allowances. “Rather than rehabilitating it from the state budget, or rather than having people and businesses pay for it, it’s more natural to cover it with revenue from emission allowances,” he said on CNN’s Partie program on Prima News TV.
The Ministry of Industry is already dealing with the option of patching up the missing money from the revenue from permits. “If it were up to my subjective opinion, it is the preferred option,” said Petr Třešňák, Síkel’s deputy for the Pirates, on Czech television some time ago.
However, the Czech Republic would have to initiate a change in the rules that limit what can be paid from the revenue from allowances. “It is not a simple matter. The legislation is too strict about what can be paid from the income. These are the costs associated with the solar boom 10 to 15 years ago. It would be worth negotiating something,” said Vondra.
What can money from allowances be used for?
The proceeds from the auction of most allowances also flow into the budgets of the member states. From 2024, this part can only be used for purposes related to climate protection. Until now, it was enough to use 50% of the funds obtained from the auction.
Also according to Ondřej Knotek, MEP of the ANO movement, it could be a long journey. “You can try for a European dog, but it’s not a matter of weeks, it’s more of a matter of months. Ursula von der Leyen will be in Prague on Tuesday. Let the government pull itself together and try to negotiate with her,” Knotek said on television.
Renewable subsidies are related to the financing of solar projects between 2008 and 2010. These years later became known as the “solar boom” and the owners of photovoltaic plants as “solar barons”. At the time, the state promised them twenty-year support for the projects.
If he stopped paying back the investment to entrepreneurs, as he promised, some of them would threaten with arbitration. “If we are risking arbitration, I cannot say that as an MEP. That is for the administration to assess the risks. But the big builders of solar panels have already had enough. If nobody gave them anything anymore, they would survive these days. But there is the promise,” said Alexandr Vondra to SZ Byznys.
Changing the legislation retroactively is legally problematic, it is prohibited by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. In any case, the abolition of subsidies for renewable sources is not on the table for the first time. But it would put solar entrepreneurs in a difficult situation. Because of the promise of twenty-year state support, they often took out large loans, which in some cases have not yet been repaid.
The government must approve the amount of money intended to finance subsidized energy sources by September 30, so that the Energy Regulatory Office can then determine the amount of the fee that customers will pay in the following year.
UPDATE: We have added another statement from Alexander Vondra.