International Energy Agency says Prague must do more to meet 2030 goals

The Czech Republic needs to do more if it wants to meet the European Union’s energy and climate goals by the year 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

In a new study offering an in-depth review of Czech energy policy, the IEA said that the EU’s stricter targets would force the country to give up coal more quickly than previously envisaged.

The report, which was presented by IEA chief Fatih Birol, says that the Czech Republic needs to support communities in areas that will be affected by the phasing out of coal.

The Czech Republic must prepare for the earlier than originally expected cessation of coal mining, the IEA said.

It should develop low-carbon energy sources to replace it, while taking steps to mitigate the economic and social impacts in the regions, it continued.

The study points out that coal currently accounts for almost half of electricity generation in the Czech Republic and covers a quarter of the demand for household heating.

What’s more, according to the country’s existing plans, coal should play an important role until the 2030s.

However, the European Union's new energy and climate policy, including the Fit for 55 climate package, is likely to force earlier coal decommissioning.

This is because rising prices for emission allowances will make coal less competitive compared to other sources of electricity and heat.

Fatih Birol called on the Czech government to make greater use of various low-carbon energy sources that could help the country move safely to a cleaner energy system and power its economy for decades.

The IEA report states that the gradual cessation of coal mining in the Czech Republic represents both an economic and social challenge. Many people from economically weaker regions work in this sector.

However, it says, the Czech Republic can use available European Union funds to help affected communities.

The IEA also calls on Prague to consider setting up a specialised agency to focus on energy efficiency when implementing support programs.

According to the report, declining coal consumption between 2009 and 2019 helped cut the resulting CO2 emissions in the Czech Republic by 14 percent.

Nevertheless, in this and many other indicators, the Czech Republic remains above the average of the countries surveyed by the organisation.