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.
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
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
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,
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
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