Czech Energy Companies Struggle to Meet Growing Photovoltaic Connection Demand, Distribution Costs Expected to Rise

Czech energy companies are facing challenges in accommodating the increasing demand for photovoltaic connections to the country’s power grid. As community energy gains popularity, more households are installing solar panels, leading to a higher demand for distribution networks. However, the current grid infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle the influx of new connections, resulting in distribution companies rejecting up to 10% of photovoltaic connection requests.

While the situation is expected to improve in the coming years as the network is strengthened to meet the growing demand, this transition comes at a cost. The cost of distribution is projected to rise by up to 20%. Petr Částek, a member of the board of directors of Columbus Energy, highlighted in an interview that the current infrastructure is not adequately prepared for the surge in demand and that improvements are anticipated in the near future.

The Rise of Community Energy and Its Impact on Distribution Community energy, which fosters greater engagement between individuals and energy firms, is driving the increased demand for photovoltaic connections. However, the existing distribution network is unprepared to handle this surge, and upgrading the infrastructure is a complex and time-consuming process. The lengthy timeline for households that have already invested in solar panels to connect to the grid exacerbates the situation.

The growing demand for photovoltaic connections is expected to persist over the next decade. As a response, the distribution network will undergo substantial changes to enhance its capacity. However, this process is anticipated to be costly, with distribution costs projected to rise by up to 20%.

Impact on Distribution Costs The cost of distribution is expected to experience a significant increase of up to 20%. Upgrading the network to accommodate the surging demand for photovoltaic connections necessitates substantial investments. Previous discussions included proposals to raise payments for circuit breakers as an incentive for individuals to reduce their overall electricity consumption and rely less on the main circuit breakers. However, this proposal was ultimately rejected. As a result, the distribution cost is set to rise as the network is upgraded to meet the escalating demand.

Renewable Energy and Future Trends The trend towards renewable energy is anticipated to continue, with a growing interest in energy storage and heat accumulation. Innovative solutions such as the prototype sand battery, recently launched in Finland, demonstrate effective energy storage methods. The battery comprises a concrete block filled with sand, with water pipes passing through it. Excess energy generated during the summer is stored in the battery and can be utilized for heating during the winter. The battery is heated through embedded wires or a pump circulating heat through the sand.

This simple yet effective energy storage solution provides self-sufficiency for households, with a 25-cubic-meter battery being sufficient. As the renewable energy and energy storage trends advance, it is expected that more innovative solutions like the sand battery will emerge, offering additional options for sustainable energy utilization.

Article by Prague Forum

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