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Higher module prices impacting Czechia’s rebate program for small solar parks

The Czech authorities have extended, to February, the deadline to submit PV projects of up to 1 MW for the rebate scheme for small sized, ground mounted photovoltaics. According to Jan Krčmář, chairman of the Czech Solar Association, the lower than expected interest in the program may also be down to higher PV component prices.

The State Environmental Fund of Czechia has postponed the deadline to submit applications for PV projects up to 1 MW participating in the SER+ program, a CZK4.5 billion ($200 million) rebate scheme for photovoltaic projects, to February 28.

The first call of the program had been launched in late June. Of the program’s total budget, CZK1 billion is being allocated for projects not exceeding 1 MW in size and CZK3.5 billion will be earmarked for solar installations with a capacity of over 1 MW.

​”The deadline for projects up to 1 MWp has been extended because, currently, the allocation was not filled, meaning the interest for ground-mounted projects up to 1 MWp was lower than the ministry expected,” Jan Krčmář, chairman of the Czech Solar Association, told pv magazine.

According to him, around CZK1 billion should be assigned in the next round. “Currently, the projects submitted so far only cover about 80% of that allocation,” he also explained. “The maximum available subsidy is roughly CZK7,000 per megawatt-installed and, however, we do not currently have any info about the final capex of projects. Given that they are smaller, and given the current price volatility, we expect the capex for these projects to be between CZK15,000 [and] CZK20,000 per megawatt.”

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“I am a bit worried about whether the market will be ready to react to the component shortage,” Krčmář emphasized. “Ultimately, I think installers will rather choose to build larger projects so I think, in case of a panel shortage and a shortage in manpower, it will, rather, be residential PV that will take the hit.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Czechia had 2,073 MW of installed solar power at the end of 2020, 13 MW less than it had at the end of 2019. The nation has also provided incentives for rooftop PV through a Green Savings Program and to solar-plus-storage projects through a separate, dedicated scheme.

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Source: pv magazine