Earlier this month, René Neděla, the Czech Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, was joined by industry experts for a regional conference on the role of gases in the Czech Republic.
The Deputy Minister took the opportunity to highlight the early successes of the overhaul of the EU’s energy policy, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Minister Neděla said: “If any one of you told me in April that we would already have full gas storages at the end of October, and we were able to inject gas into them even during November without rationing, I would consider you to be a dreamer. Yet we have all managed.”
Discussing the opportunities for the Czech Republic from the structural reform of gas supply, Acting Executive Director of the Czech Gas Association, Veronika Vohlídková, said that the “diversification of gas supply routes” by way of LNG and building the infrastructure for West to East flows would go “hand in hand with increasing gas transmission” to Czechia.
Looking ahead, Ms Vohlídková said that future security of supply concerns in the region could also be addressed by the “ample potential” for the production of biomethane in the Czech Republic.
“Here in the Czech Republic,” said Deputy Minister Neděla, “biomethane can cover up to 10 per cent of our consumption until the end of this decade. [It is a] domestic, renewable source ready to substitute natural gas without grid or appliance modifications… and that is definitely worth trying.”
In terms of hydrogen technology, Ms Vohlídková highlighted that “the REPowerEU plan sets a target of an additional 15 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030,” and stressed that the Czech Gas Association remains committed to the efficient and economic development of hydrogen infrastructure.
Deputy Minister Neděla added that for “the dawn of hydrogen in Europe to become reality”, Europe would need to proceed wisely: “We cannot afford any mistakes and cost overruns in developing the hydrogen economy. And that is what we try to promote in the European Union.”