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Biomass Heating for the Town of Kardasova Recice, the Czech Republic

The decision to install a biomass boiler to supply heat to the town of Kardasova Recice was made on the basis of experience from Austria, where similar systems operate. The biomass boiler was prepared for Neva, a local wood-products company. Until then, Neva had used coal for its heating system, and its wooden waste was dumped off-site - e.g., in a nearby forest.
    The biomass heating system was built with a capacity of 2.5 MW of heat, with the option of extension to 5 MW, and uses Neva's own wooden waste as fuel.
    Before the energy production was put into action, Neva, as a part of the national privatisation programme, was split into several smaller companies. The boiler was therefore designed with a larger capacity than these new factories actually need. The municipality then agreed to participate and to utilise the extra capacity to heat schools, municipal buildings, residential houses, and apartments.

The project has improved the town's environmental condition, as the town has closed its municipal coal heating facilities and the truck transport of wood waste has been reduced. This, the project has helped the municipality to avoid costs of emission reductions in order to follow the Czech Clean Air Act.

Basic documentation of the project was prepared in 1992 with help of the Municipal Office. It was completed with all necessary references and presented to the Czech State Environmental Fund (SEF). The Czech-Austrian company Eupri and the Austrian Ecofund were involved in project preparation, and Ecofund provided 21,000 USD for this purpose. SEF contributed funding consisting of a state donation of 40% of the costs and 40% as an interest-free state loan. An additional 20% was provided by the municipal office.
    After a selection process and after discussions with all partners involved, the firm Stavcent from Jindrichuv Hradec began construction of the biomass system in May, 1995, completing it in September of the same year. This allowed the town to start the heating season as planned, using the new biomass heating system. Currently, enlargement of the system is being considered, as there is free capacity in the boiler-room and ample additional wooden waste.

Especially at the beginning, the energy from the biomass boiler was not fully competitive with lower-priced energy from other, subsidized energy sources. Then, the town was awarded state subsidies, which kept the heat price for household customers lower than production prices. Currently, the cost of energy (0.019 USD/kWh) fully reflects production costs, as the state ceased subsidising energy prices in 1997.
    The main barrier to the implementation of biomass systems in the Czech Republic is a lack of funding. Without state subsidies for construction, it is difficult to complete projects, as it is impossible to get long-term commercial loans for them. Banks prefer short term investment, usually a maximum of five years, and have very little experience with renewable-energy projects.

There is great potential for the use of biomass as a fuel in the Czech Republic, but it can only be exploited if it is perceived to be economically attractive.

Name and type of project   Biomass Heating for the Town of Kardasova Recice 
Starting year   1992
Overall cost of the project   481,480 USD
Energy amount produced   1,385,000 kWh heat
Energy produced costs   0.019 USD/kWh
New local jobs   8
Number of similar projects   Approximately 5
Contact person  Dr. Petr Nekut, Metsky Urad Kardasova Recice,
J. Hrubeho sqr.64, 378 21 Kardasova Recice, Czech Republic.
Ph: +420 331 38 30 32