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.
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 4,030,000 EUR.
Definition of energy communities in line with EU legislation
A new energy act will be set into law within 2024 in Czechia, which introduces the concept of energy communities, and is well aligned with EU definitions. Energy communities within the Czech Recovery and Resilience Plan are defined as per the definition within this act.
Further, the NRRP also plans to support energy communities within the meaning of the extended definition set out in Annex 7 of this Call (i.e. it can also be electricity sharing in a residential building according to Decree No. 408/2015 Coll on market rules, as effective from 1 January 2023).
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.
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.