Czech PV GRID Workshop - 18th March 2014 - Prague
The Czech PV Grid workshop took place in Prague on 18th March of 2014. Total number of 8 participants took part on the event. Those participants represented the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic, the Czech electricity and gas market operator, Czech Technical University in Prague and companies EGC – EnerGoConsult ČB s.r.o. - representing Czech distribution companies, “JUWI”, “Šance pro budovy” and bank “Česká spořitelna” - representing the stakeholders in the Czech PV sector.
The workshop was opened by presentation about the PV Grid project. Participants were informed about the project key facts, its objectives, already gained results and expected final outcomes. Afterward the information on barriers and technical solutions in the Czech PV sector presented from the DSO’s point of view followed. Subsequently, technical solutions for rooftop PV installations were discussed. After that the Czech PV sector prospects were presented and talked over. Finally, discussion panel was organized in order to debate and clarify all unanswered points.
Discussion panel participants have agreed on the following:
Despite negative image of the PV business in the Czech Republic, photovoltaic still belongs in terms of the number of installations to leading renewable energy sources. As of 1st of January 2014 there were 27 956 PV systems installed covering total amount of 2 126 MWp. Further development of the sector depends on better utilisation of residential, factory and warehouse rooftops. Support should be aimed at simplifying grid connection of PV category called “small domestic PV source” (for example around 4 kWp) with zero (or within some tolerance) grid overflow, by trying to avoid unnecessary administrative barriers.
Prosumers (usually residential houses) should have the opportunity to consume self-produced electrical energy without the need to pay additional fees. The higher self consumption could help to solve problems with local grid congestions. The spread of prosumer storage framework, which is related to self-consumption and is allowed within Czech legislation is hampered by high prices of accumulators. Curtailment of PV installations in the Czech Republic is currently used only in case of emergency situations. Curtailment is adequately embodied in legislation and distribution companies are responsible for performing it. Moreover, any such curtailment must be fully compensated. Network reinforcement, the most traditional action carried out in order to ensure compliance with voltage and thermal requirements is usually done either by installing additional cables or by increasing transformer capacity.
Network reinforcement often utilizes the installation of booster transformers that help to remove voltage drops along long feeders on LV or MV networks. The topology of the Czech distribution grid can also be changed and thus local voltage and congestion problems may be lowered. The implementation of this solution - network reconfiguration, may be unfortunately blocked by existing contracts between DSOs and their clients. Also, the reconfiguration is a big intervention into the grid, which is quite complicated, especially when the grid is not fully automated or remotely controllable.
Solutions have been identified and explored by discussion panel participants. The event helped in mutual understanding among PV distributors and PV producers. It also helped to clarify some points, which will later be used in the summary of the whole project.