Electricity meter. Illustrative photo.
Brno – The energy crisis, which started last summer with a rocketing rise in electricity and gas prices, is slowly coming to an end, electricity and gas prices will continue to slowly fall. Economists and energy experts agreed on this at the 18th conference Expected Development of the Energy Sector in the Czech Republic and in the World, which took place today in Brno.
Slight optimism prevailed among the speakers. At the same time, they pointed out that a similar crisis could happen again.
According to them, the crisis was not only connected with the beginning of the war in Ukraine and the panic over the lack of gas in Europe, as pointed out by the deputy chairman of the board of ČEPS Svatopluk Vnouček. “Another factor was the worst drought in Europe in the last 50 years, which reduced energy production in hydropower plants, and low capacity in nuclear power plants in France,” said Vnouček. At the same time, he pointed out that the energy self-sufficiency of the Czech Republic must be strengthened at the same time as the shift away from coal.
According to experts, the key in this regard is the completion of nuclear sources, including small modular reactors, ensuring the construction of renewable energy sources and battery storage facilities, and the introduction of a mechanism that will help balance fluctuations in the production of electricity from renewable sources – that is, from wind and solar power plants.
< p>According to Martin Hájek, director of the Czech Heating Association, the Czech Republic especially needs a new energy law, not just amendments to the current one. “The government is following the salami method and patching up the old law. Although, for example, community energy has enormous political support, the amendment lacks emergency brakes and safety mechanisms. This poses a risk of the return of the so-called energy scammers, which we have now almost got rid of,” said Hájek.
According to David Kučera from the PXE company, gas and electricity prices will continue to gradually decrease. “The energy crisis seems to have been overcome, prices will gradually return to normal. However, the energy market will change in the future due to massive investments,” stated Kučera.
In recent weeks, the wholesale price of electricity has fallen to 160 euros (about 3790 CZK) per MWh without VAT. For gas, it dropped below 59 euros (roughly 1398 CZK) per MWh. Last summer, the prices of both commodities were significantly above the limit set by the government, which for this year amounts to 6,050 crowns for one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity including VAT and 3,025 crowns for one MWh of gas. Distribution fees need to be added to this. The so-called ceilings apply to households, companies and public institutions.