October 2, 2022

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Slovakia and the Czech Republic are betting on nuclear energy.  Thanks to this, they produce cheaper energy

Slovakia and the Czech Republic are betting on nuclear energy. Thanks to this, they produce cheaper energy

The Czech Republic has six nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 4 gigawatts that produce about a third of the electricity needed. In Slovakia, nuclear power is responsible for 52.3 percent. Electricity demand. There are four gyms there, and two more will open soon. Our neighbors chose nuclear energy several decades ago and will continue to develop it.

Theoretically, if 4 gigawatts of nuclear power were installed in absolute numbers in Poland, we could turn off the Bełchatów power plant. It is the largest power station in our country. After that, we can save a fee of 30 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and the cost of emissions of one ton is currently 70 euros – says Jacob Wich of Energetyka 24 portal.

The expert adds that if in Poland, as in the Czech Republic, nuclear power would be responsible for 37 percent. energy production [dane za Światowym Stowarzyszeniem Energii Atomowej – przyp. red.]it will be possible to shut down half of the coal-fired power plants. We can forget about importing coal, and there will be no current problems with its availability. In addition, we can export cheap and stable electricity.

According to estimates by the Polish Economic Institute, the energy produced using nuclear energy will be 2.5-4 times less than in the case of a coal-fired power plant.

“Depending on the technology and the chosen construction variant in Poland, the cost of 1 kWh will range from PLN 0.2 to PL17.5. For comparison, the current cost of producing 1 kWh of a new coal-fired power plant will be close to PLN 0.10 ” – Written in Tygodnik Gospodarczy PIE”.

Energy from corn is cheaper

Assuming Pie The low cost of electricity produced by nuclear power plants is mainly due to significantly lower fuel costs (about 2.5-3 g / kWh) compared to coal-fired power plants, to which the cost of carbon dioxide emissions certificates must also be added. Coal prices (total 0.44.8 PLN / kWh).

“In addition to being more profitable, nuclear power plants have zero direct emissions and very low emissions over the entire life cycle (ie component manufacturing, construction process, power plant operation, logistics, demolition and waste disposal),” says PIE.

What can not be said about him Coal power plants. In 2020, the Bełchatów power plant was the largest CO2 emitter in Europe. In addition, the price of electricity is determined on the basis of the cost of its production at the most expensive power plant. More than 70 percent is on the Vistula River. Electricity production comes from coal. The Energy Market Information Center states that the cost of generating electricity consists mainly of the cost of carbon dioxide (59%).

The Czechs have more expensive electricity than Poland, but these are not big differences. The rule for the energy market is simple – it costs the same as the last megawatt-hour needed. The bucket should be full but not empty either. If a country has a lot of electricity, it will be cheaper, for example, thanks to nuclear power. But if there is a problem with the reactors, as in France now, the power has to be found elsewhere. Then electricity is very expensive – says Rudyszyn.

It’s expensive, though

Rudyszyn adds that “Electricity today is expensive, but every country has an atom that benefits in the long run. However, the more sources of energy, the cheaper it is.” Therefore, the Czechs and Slovaks must replace the rest of the energy they need. There is a problem with this, however, and the war in Ukraine has shown how valuable coal can be temporarily. Gas from Putin is very expensive.

The Slovak government is preparing citizens for a significant increase in wages. The Network Industry Regulatory Authority has released a forecast showing how much Slovaks will pay if the government does not support them with their bill payments..

The organizer estimates that the family will pay approx. Euro for regular consumption of electricity and heating, he will pay up to 2.5 thousand. Euro next year. This is an increase of about 1.5 thousand. € per year and approximately 120 € per month ”- reports the portal ekonomika.pravda.sk.

According to the daily Slovakia, the reason for this sharp increase is the rise in the prices of goods in the markets. This is due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the uncertain future associated with it. Moscow and Gazprom are also throttling gas supplies to Europe, raising the price of the commodity.

“At the beginning of August, the price of electricity on the Prague PXE Stock Exchange fluctuated around €386 per megawatt-hour. Meanwhile, the cost of MWh was only €79 a year ago. This means a nearly fivefold increase in electricity prices” – we read.

The situation is similar in the Czech Republic, where electricity prices are 70 percent. higher than last year. a report European Commission Leaves no illusions – it is more expensive in Prague (40 cents per kWh) than in Vienna, London, Rome, Copenhagen and Berlin. The cheapest were in Belgrade, Budapest and Kiev.

The energy price increases that lie ahead in the coming months will come as a shock to many of you. The state does not have the money to fully and for all make up for this increase, Prime Minister Fiala reported on the Czech portal expats.cz.

Politico writes: “The withdrawal from Russian gas, which a year ago met 40% of the EU’s needs, is a painful process.”

You have to become independent from Russia

In the next few years, Slovakia wants to become zero-emissions, thanks mainly to nuclear power. It is estimated that corn will be responsible for up to 70 percent. Energy and renewable energy produce 25 percent. Two other 880 MW reactors are under construction. The situation is similar in the Czech Republic, where the government has put out a tender for the construction of a new reactor to replace the expired units in Dukovani. The new reactor will be operational by 2036, which will increase the share of nuclear energy in electricity production to 40%. in the year 2040

head of the czech government Peter Viala He admitted that the construction of the new power plant would be another step towards energy self-sufficiency in the country. It will be built by CEZ, which owns both Czech nuclear power plants, both Dukovany (2040 MW) and Temelin.

However, it is known that the reactor will not be delivered by Russian or Chinese companies, since their participation in the new investment could “pose a threat to the security of the Czech Republic”. Three companies are participating in the tender: Westinghouse from the USA, EDF from France and KHNP from South Korea.

Energy independence and the right mix of energy sources are especially important at a time when Russia is invading Ukraine and is already attacking all of Europe economically, Bloomberg quoted Fiala as saying.

Coal (40%) still dominates the Czech energy mix, but will soon be replaced by nuclear power. Natural gas is in third place (8%). Solar is only 3%, but that’s about to change.

– The development of renewables in the Czech Republic has been steady for years and that’s why we have a problem. On the other hand, we have untapped potential, added Jerry Koloh, head of the Climate, Energy and Waste Program at the Hnutí Duha environmental movement.

The Czech state must deal with the crux of the problem, that is, to make full use of its own resources and available financial resources for the construction of new nuclear power plants. Economist Lucas Kovanda says in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

Why is there no corn in Poland

The development of nuclear energy in our neighbors is a side effect of the accession of Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the Soviet bloc. In Poland – also in that bloc – things went differently. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 had a negative impact on the public’s approach to nuclear energy. After 1989, the switch to coal-fired power was made, and it was a political decision dictated primarily by the interests of the miners’ unions. We entered the Third Republic of Poland with 400,000 miners and a strong “solidarity”. Now we have just over 80,000. Miners – explains Jacob Witch.

Witch believes that when discussing the atom, one cannot ignore politics. is the key here.

– Years ago, this opportunity was lost to the interests of the unionists. Now, the interest of the state is linked to the interest of the ruling group, which means that there are no investments in projects whose implementation exceeds one term. Why would a certain political group inject money into a fracta that would be collected by someone else? – Wonders.

Nuclear power takes several years to develop. It takes an average of seven years to build power plants in the world, and four years in China. The long construction period in the United States and Europe is expected to result from overregulation and poor market adjustment for the development of nuclear technologies. The European Union focuses mainly on renewable energy, as facilities are built quickly and profit can be made faster. Nuclear reactors can operate for up to 80 years and are therefore inexpensive. Nuclear power also reduces the need for fossil fuels, which is critical in times of crisis. Countries with advanced nuclear power stand a better chance of achieving a smoother transition during tough times – Witch.

According to the assumptions of the American-Japanese company GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, the first BWRX-300 nuclear reactor will be commissioned in Poland in 2029. According to the latest study by ARC Rynek i Opinia, up to 64 percent of Poles want to accelerate work on the development of nuclear energy.

Piotr Pera, journalist at money.pl

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