Overall assesment

The total amount of the Czech plan is approximately EUR 7.4 billion. 42% of the plan is dedicated to green measures, by including investments and reforms aiming to accelerate the transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Among them, a reform to support community projects is introduced.

Detailed assesment

General: allocation, definition, transposition

Specific allocation for energy communities

The programmes mentions energy communities as separate targets - Establishing ‘energy communities’ involving residential and entrepreneurial sector actively in renewable energy use as well as awareness-raising and training focused on developing community-based energy. This Component will finance a pilot projects for the establishment of 40 energy communities with a total allocation of 4,284,500 EUR.

Definition of energy communities in line with EU legislation

The definition of energy communities is partially respected – there is a limited definition. The programme only mentions that community energy must be built on bottom-up initiatives, i.e. it must be embraced by a broad layer of citizens.

Proportionality of share of total fund allocated to energy communities

The investment dedicated towards energy communities is not proportional to total funds dedicated to renewable energy. There is no adequate financial support (only EUR 4.3 million envisages for energy communities in comparison to EUR 7.4 billion which is the total amount for the plan).

Availability of tailored financing tools

There are no different financing tools available that fit different situations. Only grants are provided.

Link to a wider scope of activities and objectives

Link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency

The schemes mention a link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency - The programming document states that the residential sector must be a vital part of community energy. Without the active involvement of this sector, the necessary development of community energy is practically unfeasible in the Czech Republic, as housing makes up a crucial part of the buildings that can be part of community energy. Households should be one of the important beneficiaries of community energy.

Recognition of energy communities under multiple objectives

Energy communities are recognised under multiple objectives: reduction of energy consumption in households, reduction of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, partial transformation of the energy sector in terms of a shift to emission-free sources

Transparency and inclusiveness

Holistic strategy to provide financing across different levels of project development

There a holistic strategy to provide financing across different levels of project development. Pilot financing; support for the installation of new RES in such a way as to remove barriers to their future integration into the wider energy community; support for smaller shared energy storage facilities for multiple homes or the creation of energy communities within individual dwellings; education and awareness raising.

Transparency of the design and communication of the schemes and measures

The design and communication of the schemes and measures are transparent. There is an opportunity to provide feedback and suggest improvements that will be taken into account.

Selection criteria and the prioritisation of various social components

The process regarding the selection of criteria is very satisfactory. All advice and recommendations were taken into account. A committee will be established to choose the best projects (Community Energy Union was invited to be part of it).

Decentralised tender process

There is a centralized process to create tenders.

Existence of procedures to facilitate the participation of energy communities in open calls

A call for energy coordinators within local action groups has been opened. It will close at the end of 2024.

Stability and predictability of the programme through time

It is a pilot call, so it is still hard to properly assess it also in terms of its predictability.

REPowerEU

Inclusion of energy communities in national REPowerEU chapter

No further funding is planned, but a reform is planned to introduce energy communities and energy sharing into the national legal order in the Czech Republic. They will probably request approximately EUR 770 million in loans.