Czechia to push on with securing energy independence from Russia as gas storage tank reserves reach record levels

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala made a big speech to the nation on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (petr.fiala1964/Facebook)
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Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has reiterated his government’s top priority to rid Czechia of its dependence on Russian gas and oil, outlining the steps he intends to take to achieve this goal in a speech to the nation on Wednesday.

During the address, Fiala accused Russia of waging two wars: first, a military war in Ukraine, and secondly a moral-economic war aimed at the countries of the Western world.

“Russia wants to make us weak, and therefore vulnerable to blackmail,” the prime minister said, adding that there was a real threat that in the coming weeks or months, Russia could “turn the tap and turn off gas and oil to cause us as much trouble as possible.” According to Fiala, it is, therefore, necessary for Czechia to end its dependence on Russian resources as soon as possible.

The steps to be taken by the Czech government to help the country achieve this include increasing the capacity of gas and oil pipelines from EU countries, acquiring additional capacity in LNG terminals, and supporting the construction of emissions-free energy sources, Fiala said.

According to the prime minister, domestic gas storage facilities are about two-thirds full, and thus, should a crisis scenario occur in the winter, Czechia will be able to secure sufficient supplies for all households.

“Never in our history have we had so much gas in our storage tanks at this time,” said Fiala, adding that the filling of reserve tanks continues.

A move toward green energy

Nuclear energy remains the pillar of Czech energy self-sufficiency, Fiala said; however, at the same time, the government plans to support the construction of photovoltaic power plants and the use of heat pumps.

The country’s energy strategy should also include a substantial increase in the volume of domestic bio-gas production, as well as support for investments in energy innovation and savings, according to the prime minister.

“It will cost a lot of effort and money, but it is a path that will pay off in the end,” Fiala said.

The government also plans to take control of the entire network of key Czech power plants in the near future to secure its own electricity generation.

Among the steps already taken by Fiala’s cabinet are the setting aside of 66 billion korunas (€2.66 billion) to help companies and households with energy for the upcoming heating season and the abolition of the fee for renewable sources.

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