Prague to install photovoltaics on public buildings as part of its climate plan

A new organization, dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources, will start operating in Prague in October. One of the main goals of the Prague Renewable Energy Community, which was approved by city councillors this May, will be installing photovoltaic panels on the city’s buildings.

In the spring of this year, Prague councillors approved the 2030 Climate Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent compared to 2010 within the next 20 years.

To achieve the ambitious goal, the city needs to implement dozens of measures across various areas, including sustainable energy and buildings, sustainable mobility, circular economics and adaptation measures.

One of the first steps, carried out by the Prague Renewable Energy Community, is to install photovoltaic panels at forty schools and social facilities in the course of the coming year.

The pilot project will be carried out on a city-owned apartment building in the district of Černý Most. Jaroslav Klusák is one of the people in charge of the project:

“Most of the electricity produced here should also be used here. We are currently establishing an organisation that will run these photovoltaics and have a license for the production and sale of the electricity produced. It should also serve as an electricity supplier for the housing estates.”

Photo: Maria Godfrida,  Pixabay,  CC0 1.0 DEED

Tomáš Voříšek, co-author of the city’s Climate Plan, says similar models have already been successfully employed in other EU members states, including Austria, Germany and France.

“We assume that we would gradually recruit individual tenants for the project, on a voluntary basis, by offering better prices. We would also like to offer a smart electricity meter as part of the service, which can monitor the energy flow and allow people to optimise their electricity consumption.”

If everything goes according to plan, a contractor should be selected at the start of next year and the first photovoltaic panels could be installed on the house by the end of 2022, says Mr. Voříšek:

“Installing a photovoltaic system can reduce electricity consumption from the distribution network by at least a third, on average. In ideal conditions, it can be reduced by more than 50 percent.

“We would also like to expand the range of so-called co-generation units, which can also use renewable gas, or bio-methane. That would allow producing electricity and heat even in the winter season and further improve the energy balance and the carbon footprint of the building.”

The goal of the city's climate strategy is to install photovoltaics on 20,000 buildings in the city by 2030 and generate hundreds of megawatts of power.

Among other steps within the newly approved Climate Plan, Prague councillors also plan to construct the first city-owned biogas plant, which could process waste from households and supply bio-methane for cars.

Other steps include planting over a million new trees, nstalling drinking fountains throughout the city and revitalising its numerous green spaces.