Litoměřice: Towards 100% RES with geothermal energy
Coal boilers were forced out of the North Bohemian town on the Elbe river (24 388 inh.) through gasification in nineties (from 95 % of buildings and 98 % of companies). When the gas price hiked up people wanted to re-use coal, which would bring back smog.
Since 2000, therefore, the townhall has subsidized private solar thermal installations in an administratively very simple program. It brought the town great interest of citizens – they could combine a small, but fast town subsidy with state grants and get that up to six years financial return of their solar installation. The town won also nationwide publicity thanks to this method and then several awards in the Czech Solar league and the European RES Champions League (2010).
Meanwhile, around 5% of households has the solar water heating (1750 m2 in total). Dustiness dropped to 50%, the SO2 content to 1/9th. Small hydro power plants (8.7 MW) and town photovoltaic systems (1,216 MW) arrived in. Quite a lot of solar installations both kinds, incurred without the help of the town, is even not registered here.
In 2008 they started preparation of an ambitious geothermal heating plant with an output up to 40 MWt and 5 MWe. Two about 5 km deep wells should provide 50-80 liters/s of medium above 180° C, which should drive electro-turbines and give heat to the distribution system. Although the plan is technically and technologically very well thought out and prepared, and its parameters significantly prevents the period in the Czech Republic, they are still looking for finances. Until then, the town moves step-by-step towards energy self-sufficiency (especially thanks to the tireless chief of the townhall environmental section Mr. Pavel Gryndler and support of this direction from the city management), but significant movement towards 100% RES is still far away.
Even so, Litoměřice dominates significantly the division of middle towns in the Czech Republic in the field of green energy promotion. Therefore, the organizers have nominated it as a national champion into final "shootout" of the RES Champions League 2014. The final ranking of champions will be declassified in Brussels next week ...
Metropolis of "Garden of Bohemia", as Litoměřice has been always dubbed, ended so to speak outside the gates for the winners this time and did not squeeze among the three best in its division at the European level. It will not change anything regarding the city interest in the path of green energy or inspiration of this way for others!
Author: Karel Merhaut
Photo: LEA archive