The Czech Republic is getting "greener"

Electrical energy in the Czech Republic is going green. That is the case in two regions of the country, where locals can now opt for energy generated from alternative, recycled sources. Sources that include wind and solar, as well as small hydroelectric power stations. Though environmentally friendly electrical energy is rather common in Western European countries, such as the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany, the Czech Republic has only just started its journey down the "green" path.

Why should people in the Czech Republic choose "Green energy" instead of the usual electrical current? The Friends of the Earth Organization says that the main distributor in the country supplies electricity from dirty sources, such as opencast mines, coal power stations and nuclear reactors. Karel Polanecky, who is working on the Friends of the Earth "green" project, is convinced that clean electricity is the best decision for every household:

"The customers who can choose and do choose Green Electricity from their supplier can be certain that they are using electricity that doesn't harm the environment and doesn't contribute to dangerous changes in climate."

According to Mr Polanecky, electricity from the common current harms the environment by contributing to pollution and radioactive waste. Using "green energy" doesn't even force customers in the Czech Republic to dig much deeper into their pockets. For the average Czech household residing in a high-rise, "clean" energy costs only about nine crowns more per month.

Although the idea of using "green energy" emerged during the 1990s, it didn't become a reality in the Czech Republic until the beginning of last year. Now, "clean" electricity is distributed by one Czech company and available only in the Karlovy Vary and Pilsen regions. However, the number of potential customers in the Czech Republic is growing. Mr. Polanecky:

"Customers with a bigger consumption of energy already have the chance to purchase Green Energy from Zapadoceska Energetika or from foreign suppliers. Customers with a smaller energy consumption will get this opportunity in the event that other energy companies start to supply Green Energy, which is very likely, according to a survey we conducted. On the survey half of the distribution companies stated that they would consider Green Energy."

Despite the optimistic results of the recent survey, the option is quite restricted in the Czech Republic - for the time being. The other distributors have expressed interest in supplying "green" energy but have not made a commitment or spelled out any details. The Friends of the Earth organization urges people and companies from other areas in the country to request that their distributor offer environmentally friendly electricity. But just how much "greener" the Czech Republic really will become, remains a question.

authors: Dita Asiedu , Jan Velinger , Tracy Burns
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