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16. februára 2011 Ostatné od Energia.skSITA

Support system for biomass in Slovakia will change

Week in Slovakia

Case: Utilizing the potential of biomass in Slovakia

Renewable energy sources in Slovakia and mainly biomass have the biggest perspective for heat generation. As Juraj Novák from the branch on energy politics from SR Ministry of Economy stated, their resort is currently preparing a number of legislative changes, which should modify the regulatory system for heat supplies. According to Novák, Slovakia has a potential to reach a share of 14% from RES in electrcity consumption until 2020. And it is biomass that could contribute the most.

Biomass is „currently competing with fossil fuels and it can be predicted that its competitiveness will increase in the future,” said Novák.

The subsidy system for central heating sources is ineffective

What should also change are the conditions of central heating supplying. According to Novák, the subsidy system for central sources is not set effectively enough during the current programme period.

„This means: we do support changing a boiler, but we do not support reconstruction of heating distribution. During the phase when heat is being distributed we encounter great loses and hence central heating supplying is not competitive as lets say small local boiler houses,” Novák explained. As he further stated, supporting RES for heating and cooling will focus on public buildings, which should be according to the EU directives leading examples.

Biomass should by used for combined electricity and heat generation

In 2008 biomass in Slovakia was primarily used for heat generation and bio-fuels. „If in 2020 we would produce biomass dominantly for electricity generation, the goal would not be reached as effectively as using biomass for combined heat and electricity generation, or when heating will be a priority. The efficiency of transforming solid biomass into heat is way much higher than if we are only generating electricity without combined production,” he added.

An issue of energy security

The process of gasifying biomass in Slovakia has a number of advantages. „We have a well developed distribution network. Also Slovak republic is dependant on natural gas supplies. Although we do have some projects for diversification, Russia will still remain our main supplier. In order to lower this energy dependence and increase energy efficiency, using bio-methane is a good step we can take,” says Novák.

Efficiency of bio-methane in combined generation should increase

Currently in Slovakia we do support electricity generation from bio-gas. It means that when we use the gas for this purpose, it is not clear how the heat is utilized when burning the bio-gas. Bio-methane is a cultivated bio-gas that can supplied to the distribution network and consequently used in combined heat and electricity generation. The aim of the Ministry is to increase the efficiency of bio-methane in the process of combined production from the current 40% to 75%.

Monday – 7th February 2011

Privatisation of the six state-owned heating companies must not threaten gaining subsidies from EU for technology modernisation, warned Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová. She also stated that the high compensations for the ex-chief directors in the heating company in Košice is a scandal. According to her, the political parties that nominated the people should be responsible for it.

Inappropriately high compensations for chiefs of state-owned companies should not repeat in the future, stated Minister of Economy Juraj Miškov. The conditions for receiving compensations for state nominees will be changed. As the legislative proposal from the Ministry of Economy states, for example a nominee in the function of a director general will have the right to receive a three-month compensation at most. Miškov will submit his proposal today also at the negotiations of the coalition.

The alternative energy supplier, company ČEZ Slovakia distances itself from the cases of fake home-to-home sellers of electricity that were presented in the media. Although the company does offer direct sale, its sales representatives work according to the rules of transparent selling, said the spokeswoman of ČEZ Eva Nováková. Another significant alternative supplier Magna E.A, does not offer home-to-home selling.

Tuesday – 8th February 2011

The possible ways of how to privatize the six state-owned heating companies will be evaluated individually. The decision was approved by all parties of the ruling coalition. Another issue that should be resolved are the rules under which the Regulatory Office of Network Industries works. According to Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, the office does not carry out its function.

Wednesday – 9th February 2011

The government has agreed to privatize the six heating companies. The main reason is their ineffective economic management, informed Minister of Finance Ivan Mikloš. As he further stated, currently there does not exist a coalition agreement on how many percents will be offered in the public competition, but it will be at least 51%. According to the analysis of economic profitability, selling 100 % would be more beneficial for the state than the expected revenues from sales.

Slovakia and Serbia will intensively cooperate in the field of energy. The agreement between Slovakia and Serbia will allow Slovak companies to join energy projects in Serbia. The first one is the gas pipeline connection Alexandrovac – Novi Pazar. The agreement was signed by Slovak Minister of Economy Juraj Miškov and Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Petar Škundrič.

The planned changes for changing the rules under which the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) should operate will not be realized. The proposal of Ľudovít Jurčík (SaS), which suggested to set up a Regulation council and Regulation commission was voted down in the parliament.

Thursday – 10th February

Ex-prime Minister Robert Fico warned that after the government will privatize the six heating companies, the prices for heat for consumers will increase by 20%.

Friday – 11th February 2011

The Slovak Union of Towns (ÚMS) considers heating industry as business with local importance. The ÚMS believes that in order to sustain a positive development of the heating companies, towns should own at least 49% of shares in the companies.

Sunday – 13th February 2011

Minister of Economy Juraj Miškov prefers selling 100% of share in the six biggest heating companies. Companies that have already shown interest in buying the share include Penta, Slavia Capital, Dalkia and MVV Energia. According to Miškov, companies like Veolia, Cofely and E.ON will also show their interest.

The Slovak Electricity Transmission System (SEPS) did not change its stance and it will not give any of the investors that plan to construct a solar or wind power plant an approval.

European Union and World

Monday – 7th February 2011

Closing down the Suez canal as a result of the tense political situation in Egypt could double the prices of oil. The information came from the Minister of oil industries of Venezuela Rafael Ramirez.

Tuesday – 8th February 2011

The program „Green for savings“ aimed at insulating buildings in Czech Republic might not be opened this year. The information was published by server Aktualne.cz, but the Ministry of Environment did not confirm the information. The original plan was that the program would be only closed until January 2011.

Russian company Rosatom might step down from the project of finishing the construction of the second Bulgarian nuclear power plant in Belene. The reasons behind the decision are problems with the Bulgarian partner NEK.

Wednesday – 9th February 2011

In 2010, the amount of electricity that was stolen in Czech republic was worth 150 million Czech crowns.

The British government is planning to lower the subsidies for big solar power plants. The state support should focus more on small communal projects and houses. The information was provided by the British Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne.

Oil reserves in Saudi Arabia might be less than 60 % than the official sources states. The claim was posted on the web page WikiLeaks. These doubts arose after WikiLeaks published secret dispatches of American diplomats that served at the consulate in Rijad during the period 2007 – 2009.

Thursday – 10th February

The working group for the European energy interconnection held its first meeting. The meeting was attended by Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger. The group consists of V4 countries and Romania and Bulgaria. The aim of the meeting was to set the time schedule for the interconnection. The problem which remains is the question of financing.

Czech towns that will take part in the research for finding a suitable area for a storing radioactive waste by offering their territories could receive a financial compensation from the state. The Czech government approved the amendment of the law on nuclear energy. Currently Czech republic does not have an underground storage for nuclear waste. The final location should be chosen until 2025 and should be in operation until 2065.

Prague currently has 3 functioning public stations for charging electric automobiles. The charging stations are run by the company Pražská energetika (PRE). During the testing period, which will last six months, PRE will offer its services free of charge.

Chinese hackers allegedly stolen confidential information from five big energy companies. The news was reported by the American company McAfee, which revealed the attacks aimed at computer systems of international corporations.

Friday – 11th February 2011

Czech Ministry of Environment does not plan to cancel the program „Green for savings“. However, before it opens the program, it has to resolve all the applications submitted in 2010. Currently the program is considering almost 40-thousand applications. The program was pause in October 2010.

Until the process of finishing the nuclear power plant in Temelín is completed, Czech republic will not build a new power plant. The information was provided by the Minister of Trade and Industry Martin Kocourek. As he further stated, construction of a third nuclear power plant before 2040 is highly improbable.

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