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New Czech gov’t sees coal exit by 2033, backs nuclear power

“The Czech Republic’s new centre-right government will seek to lay the ground for a possible phasing out of coal by 2033,” it declared on Friday after releasing its programme which also aims to support nuclear power as part of the country’s energy future.

The five-party government, in power since mid-December, laid out its priorities across a range of subjects, including energy.

“We will create conditions for an energy transformation and the development of coal regions so that a shift from coal will be possible by 2033,” the programme reads.

The country’s previous government had not set a date for the coal exit, although a state advisory council had recommended 2038.

According to Energy Regulatory Office data, the Czech Republic in 2020 generated 43 percent of its electricity from coal and 37 percent from nuclear power plants.

The country has sought to boost nuclear power and has plans for launching a tender this year for a multi-billion dollar unit at the majority state-owned CEZ’s Dukovany plant.

In its programme, the Czech government said it would support nuclear power development, including the new Dukovany unit, as long as “Russian or Chinese firms will not build it.” That follows the previous cabinet’s policy after it last year excluded the two countries on security grounds.

The new government also announced it would prepare the ground for future decisions on other nuclear power units.

The Czech Republic had pushed for nuclear power and gas to be included in the European Union’s hotly-debated green investment plan, whose proposed rules were circulated on the
last day of 2021. While the country welcomed both energy sources’ inclusion, government and energy officials have criticised the conditions attached.

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