Czechia records 970 MW of new solar in 2023


Czechia built around 1 GW of new PV plants in 2023, according to data from the Czech Solar Association (Solární Asociace).

In total, 82,799 solar power plants were connected to the grid, with a combined total output of 970 MW. The nation achieved a record-breaking year with 145% growth, connecting 49,000 more power plants than it did in 2022.

The figures mark a period of rapid growth in Czechia’s solar market. The growth has been largely driven by residential PV, with most of the new installations (80,069) being domestic PV plants, supported by the country investing an additional CZK 55 billion ($2.5 billion) in its New Green Savings program back in March 2023.

The total output of all the country’s solar plants reached almost 3.5 GW at the end of December. More than 170,000 PV plants now supply electricity to the grid, of which more than 150,000 are on the rooftops of family homes.

Looking forward, the trade body said it expects investors to shift their focus to larger-scale solar power plants. It said this move will be subsidized for the corporate segment of the Modernisation Fund and should significantly speed up the administration of projects and their construction. In 2023, 25 power plants with a capacity exceeding 1 MW were connected to the network in Czechia, alongside the first solar park connections since 2011.

“Today's growth is driven by rooftop power plants for family homes or companies,” the association's executive director, Jan Krčmář, told pv magazine. “However, if we want to use the potential of solar energy in the Czech Republic and, above all, to prepare for the very real scenario that coal-fired power plants will be shut down earlier than expected, we must add to the construction of solar parks.”

Czechia struggled with grid issues in 2023 and the absence of large energy storage continues to be a problem. In production plants above 1 MWp, the ratio of battery storage capacity to installed PV power was only 1.4%, which the association said is “critically low.” It blamed both the lack of legislation and the setting of the conditions of subsidy programs.

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Jan Fousek, the chairman of Solární Asociace, said “the full use of electricity accumulation should be enabled by another amendment to the Energy Act …  The newly announced calls for the Modernisation Fund, on which we have long-term cooperation with the State Environmental Fund and the Ministry of the Environment, will already include higher point benefits for projects with accumulation. I hope that the share of large projects with large-capacity storage will start to increase soon thanks to these changes, otherwise we have a problem.”

One answer could lie with agrovoltaics, according to Jiří Bím, an agrovoltaics analyst.

“The decisive factor will be whether the necessary legislation can be adopted this year in a form that will enable the development of agrovoltaics as we know it from abroad,” said Bím.

In contrast to its large-scale energy storage issues, Czechia is among the European leaders in the use of domestic batteries in proportion to the installed power ranks for residential PV.

“For the future, home batteries offer a huge potential for aggregating flexibility to stabilize the system,” Fousek explained. “What only a few years ago sounded like science fiction, today even some domestic companies routinely do it.”

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