The stop and go of the national Czech subsidy scheme, Nová Zelená Úsporám (NZU) or New Green Savings, continues: The last application was accepted on 31 December 2014, the programme administrators from the Czech State Environmental Fund said in a press release published on 8 January 2015. The second call for applications to the NZU programme ran from April to December 2014 and resulted in 6,110 submitted applications for a total value of Czech Crown (CZK) 1.377 billion (EUR 49.6 million). According to Lenka Brandtová, the spokes woman of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic, 44 % of the applications in 2014 included solar water heaters, which corresponds to 2660 subsidised solar thermal systems.
The above-mentioned press release stated a total available budget of CZK 1.9 billion for 2014 and confirmed that the remaining funds would be transferred to the current year and be added to the amount reserved for 2015. According to Brandtová, the plan is to relaunch the programme for residential homeowners on April 2015. The State Environmental Fund also said that an increasing portion of the 6,110 applications was submitted during the very last days before the deadline: “On New Year's Eve, we received applications worth CZK 55 million.” For more information about the NZU programme, please see the database of incentive programmes.
Unpredictable 2015 market development
The business satisfaction of the solar thermal system suppliers is heavily dependent on the national support scheme, which is why sector companies have criticised things such as the government’s stop-and-go policy. “2015 market development is unpredictable because of the non-publication of the amount and the duration of the grant programme. If the programme were stopped, it would dramatically reduce demand for solar technology,” the business developer of a Czech collector manufacturer claims.
NZU also announced the expansion of the NZU programme to new target groups this year. On the website, it says that owners of multi-family buildings should be added to the eligible group of applicants (see the screenshot above). Brandtová, however, confirmed at the end of January that it hasn’t been decided yet how these new groups will benefit from the NZU.