Vitásková energy battle rages on
The government has approved a resolution affirming that the Energy Regulatory Office [ERÚ] is permitted to offer support for renewable energy. But the ERÚ has responded that the move is insufficient and that it will not offer such support.
In its finding, the cabinet took into consideration a legal analysis which stated that no hindrance existed to the offering of support for supported energy sources which came into operation prior to 2013. However, the ERÚ insisted that it would not formally offer such support, because the government has not changed the existing legal framework. “We cannot and will not offer such support,” said Jiří Chvojka, spokesperson for the body.
The battle between the industry and trade ministry and the ERÚ, whose ‘hostages’ are the tens of thousands of renewable energy or heating source operators, thus rages on. ERÚ chair Alena Vitásková continues to appeal against the opinions issued by the Office of the Government, the country’s anti-monopoly authority [ÚOHS], and the European Commission, arguing that subsidies cannot be offered for sources for which the EU has not approved support.
However, a recent analysis cited by the government claims that no such notification is necessary, nor has the country even requested it. The Commission is only examining the existing support system. Meaning there is no barrier to subsidies being issued ahead of any conclusions that the Commission might reach. Recently, trade and industry minister Jan Mládek (Social Democrat) brought back an assurance from the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager that the Commission is not seeking out reasons why the support of renewable sources would be incompatible with the EU’s internal market rules.