In a Nutshell

  • A recent policy document highlighted DACCS and BECCS as technologies of potential interest but did not specify their role.  
  • Geological storage of more than 1MtCO2 is prohibited in the Czech Republic. 
  • Alongside CCS research and development projects, a consortium of Czech universities is researching the potential of BECCS  
  • A CCS Roadmap will be released soon, as well as a revision of the Czech Climate Protection Policy.  

Role for carbon removal in national climate policy

The Czech Republic has committed to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Following the revision of the EU Climate Law, it must reach a 26% emissions reductions target by 2030 compared to 2005 levels in sectors not covered by the EU Emission Trading System.  

The Czech draft updated version of its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) states that there would be 6.3MtCO2 of residual emissions in 2050. The land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector’s contribution still needs to be refined in the model used. However, the draft updated NECP states that the LULUCF sector is a net emitter – 15MtCO2e in 2021 – and the Czech Republic will have significant difficulties in reducing the sector’s emissions to zero. The plan does not contain many measures to reverse this trend. There are, however, mentions of developing a new national forestry programme to create more resilient forest ecosystems, as well as to increase the use of wood as a renewable raw material.  

 

The draft updated NECP highlights carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) as one of eight strategic priorities. It states that CCUS should only be used for hard-to-abate emissions, which would represent a total of 18MtCO2 in 2050. The plan also mentions bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) as potential technologies of interest to address residual emissions but does not clarify as to the role they will play the country’s climate plan. 

 

The draft NECP goes on to mention that biogas production is very well suited for CCS, which could lead to negative emissions and thus be considered as CDR. The feedstock to produce biogas can come from agricultural residues. Feed-in tariffs and green bonuses are already used to incentivise biogas production and are supported as part of the Environment Operational Programme. In the government’s models, CCUS use is not accounted for before 2035. A CCS roadmap has been developed but has not yet been formally approved by the Czech Government. 

 

The Czech long-term climate strategy has not been updated since 2017. It is currently under revision, though the timeframe for its completion is unknown. The State Environmental Policy of the Czech Republic 2030 with a view to 2050 sets the main environmental policy actions for the country. It is divided into three main pillars;  environment and health, transition to climate neutrality and the circular economy, and nature and landscape. The State Energy Policy, which has also not been updated since 2017, mentions geological CO2 storage as one of the sub-aims of a “more effective utilisation of fossil sources of energy”. The document only briefly mentions the use of CCS but does not expand on its potential role within the Policy. 

Support for R&D and Innovation

The National R & D & I Policy of the Czech Republic 2016-2020 provided very high-level guidelines for the country’s overall R&D and innovation strategy. Its vision is to make Czechia a country with high living standards and strong innovation capabilities. The Research Development and Innovation Strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture 2023-2032 outlines key strategic R&D and innovation areas for the country. These include a ramp-up of the bioeconomy (including the use of biological waste and bio-materials in buildings), smart agriculture and smart forestry, and carbon farming practices. Biodiversity, soils and forests are important focus areas throughout the strategy. 

 

The National Priorities of oriented research were released in 2012 and are valid until 2030. While the document does not mention CDR or CCS directly, some workstreams are indirectly relevant to carbon removal. Biodiversity is one such workstream where one of the focuses is to increase the long-term efficiency of the LULUCF sector, along with environmentally friendly technologies, including those that decrease greenhouse gas emissions.   


To support the implementation of these strategies, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic runs
multiple funding programmes that combine national and EU funding.  For example, among the various ERA-NET programme funds are projects related to climate and biodiversity restoration. The upcoming THÉTA II programme focuses on transforming and modernising the energy sector and may also include relevant calls for CO2 storage To date, there is no specific strategic program related to carbon management, as highlighted in the draft updated NECP. However, the KAPPA programme, which is primarily financed by grants from the EEA and Norway, has a side focus on CCS, with about EUR 5 million available. Several CCS projects conducted in Czechia received grants from this programme. These include REPP-CO2, a research pilot project on CO2 geological storage and the CO2-SPICER Project, which is another CO2 storage pilot in a carbonate reservoir.    

 

Separately, a national consortium of Czech universities is running the Bio-CCS project, which explores bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.  

On the horizon

A revision of the Climate Protection Policy of Czechia was planned for 2023 but has yet to be published. It will most likely be integrated into the final updated version of the Czech NECP.   

 

A CCS Roadmap was developed but has not been formally approved by the Czech Government.

Contributors

Targets

  1. Net zero target: 2030
  2. Net Negative Target:

    No

  3. First interim target: 2030
  4. Type of interim target: Emissions reduction target
  5. GHGs covered: Carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  6. Separate target for emission reduction and removals: Yes
  7. Comprehensive CDR Target: no
  8. CDR Target for Conventional Removals: no
  9. CDR Target for Novel Removals: no
  10. Historical emissions: No
  11. Annual reporting mechanism: Less than annual reporting

CDR Plans

  1. Plans for carbon removal (CDR): Yes (nature-based and CCS-based removals)
  2. Planning to use external carbon credits: No
  3. Conditions on use of carbon credits:

Key stakeholders

Research Institutions

  • Czech Geological Survey – Leader in the research of CO2 geological storage and in the assessment of potential storage in geological formations. 
  • Universities, including CTU (Czech Technical University in Prague), UCT (University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague), BUT (Brno University of Technology) and VSB-TUO (Technical University of Ostrava) are leading the research in different aspects of CO2 capture, storage and utilisation.