“CEZ Group has shifted into a higher gear in decarbonisation: by the end of the decade, we will discontinue coal in our thermal plants and will generate only a minimum of electricity from it in the most modern power plants. Instead, we will build 6,000 megawatts worth of renewable sources. Furthermore, we also want to accommodate our customers who opt for their own source of clean electricity. I am glad that modern technologies will be more accessible, thanks to our partnership with Komerční banka,” said Daniel Beneš, CEO of ČEZ.
“Komerční banka has been committed to the principles of sustainability on a long-term basis. We provide targeted support for projects that help fight climate change and, at the same time, we are restricting the financing of projects with a negative environmental impact. We want to set an example, which is why we are now starting to buy clean electricity from renewable sources from ČEZ. At the same time, we want to work together to remove barriers that prevent faster development of renewable energy sources among our customers,” explains Jan Juchelka, CEO of Komerční banka.
Sun on the roof
Experts agree that photovoltaics has the greatest potential among renewable sources of energy in the Czech Republic. In order to achieve strict European targets, large ground-based sources will be particularly needed, but solar power plants on the roofs of homes, businesses, and public buildings can also help significantly. In combination with the trend to prioritise the use of local sources and the interest of customers to reduce their utility bills, photovoltaics are the number one choice. This is proven by ČEZ Prodej and ČEZ ESCO statistics: this year, these ČEZ subsidiaries have already installed 900 rooftop PVPPs with a capacity of 6.8 MW, which is almost a third more than in all of last year.
ČEZ and Komerční banka have begun cooperating in rooftop photovoltaics, both for households and for municipalities and companies. ČEZ Prodej (installation for households) will provide one solar panel free of charge to Komerční banka’s clients for whom it will install a rooftop photovoltaic power plant. ČEZ ESCO, in cooperation with Komerční banka and SGEF, will make it possible for municipalities, companies, and other larger consumers to acquire photovoltaics without any initial investment costs.
“After the COVID pandemic, municipalities and businesses are facing rising prices on everything and their budgets are under pressure. This means that there is increasing interest in solutions that have no upfront investment costs. Our EPC energy saving projects and the construction and operation of CHP units are already working in a similar way. We are now beginning to apply this model to rooftop photovoltaic power plants, in cooperation with Komerční banka and SGEF. The customer does not have to worry about the investment, paperwork, or the operation of the photovoltaic system. Moreover, the price of electricity from photovoltaics is lower, because it is self-generated, so there are no grid fees,” says Kamil Čermák, CEO of ČEZ ESCO.
how does it work?
- ČEZ ESCO installs a photovoltaic power plant, but the customer pays only for the electricity consumed, which is typically cheaper than electricity purchased from the grid.
- ČEZ ESCO takes care of all the paperwork and operates and services the power plant.
- ČEZ ESCO may operate the power plant for an unlimited period, or the customer can purchase it to own it after 15 years, paying CZK 1.
- The product is suitable for buildings with electricity consumption of 50 MWh/year or more.
“ČEZ ESCO has already tested this model in several individual installations. But to develop it further, it needed a strong and stable financial partner who would take care of the financing of the whole scheme and of securing the credit risk. We are glad that we have become that partner,” adds Eva Jiránková, Commercial Director of Société Générale Equipment Finance.
ČEZ also cooperates with Komerční banka on other products and in areas related to decarbonisation and emission reduction. ČEZ ESCO has already installed 12 charging wallboxes for electric vehicles at Komerční banka branches and more are under negotiation. A mapping of Komerční banka’s overall carbon footprint and its reduction strategy is also under preparation. At the same time, ČEZ and Komerční banka are discussing a partnership to decarbonise the Czech heating industry and heavy industry, which will be a big challenge in the Czech Republic’s implementation of the Green Deal for Europe, as an industrial country dependent on coal.