Pilsen: except beer also a RES mix with a super biomass power plant
The 4th biggest city of the Czech Republic (established in 1295, nowadays 165 thousand inh.) dominates by the biggest biomass power plant with the cogeneration (13.5 MWe, 38 MWt). The heat is used in the city district heating system (DHS).
Pilsen was also the first big city in the CR, which developed energy concept structured by city parts. It wanted to get rid of the label “black Pilsen” obtained by smog.
Thanks to monitoring and subsidising of solar thermal installations for a few years in the past (primarily due to activity of the city energy division led by F. Kůrka) got the city several awards in the Czech solar leauge in its category as well as the bronze medal in the RES Champions Leagues 2010. Nowadays they have in evidence 1200 m2 of solar thermal installations and photovoltaics with an output of almost 13 MW. RES mix complement 15 small hydro plants (with an output of 2.3 MW), 585 private heat pumps (9.3 MW), biogas cogeneration (1.4 MWe, 0.7 MWt) at the city wastewater treatment plant. Many citizens have biomass boiler too however, since the evidence is voluntary, the town hall files probably a fragment only– 9 boilers (647 kW).
The photovoltaic power plant with an output of 20 kWp on the roof of the technical university is among the most interesting and visited RES systems in the city. Students learn from permanent watched data and from different colour designed panels too. Experts are captivated by a "small perpetuum mobile" located on a roof of a private residental house at Resselova street. You can see here not only solar thermal collectors (17,8 m2, 800 liters tank) but also 12 unique combi-moduls of water cooled photovoltaic installation (2,1 kWp). They warm up the water and produced electricity more effectively – this novelty was recently awarded at the Hannover fair!
An edict, which defines city districts with a prefered kinds of heating systems, took up the city energy concept. The “green energy block” on biomass is the main source for the DHS. Districts without the DHS connection are obliged to prefer RES utilization. So the environment has boldly improved recently. Since 2004 has the city worked up a lot of supporting actions (as a part of energy action plans), e.g. a subsidy of RES use or a competition "Sun for Pilsen".
However, the continued use of spatial planning as a basic framework for the city development and good energy management are key factors for success in this field,. The city also created a tool for energy management improvement called ENERGY TARGET, for which Pilsen won the Energy Oscar, the highest award in the E.ON Energy Globe Award Czech Republic in 2010. This action is focused on monitoring and thus reducing the energy consumption of municipal buildings.
In summary: Pilsner mix of sophisticated systematic actions in favor of green energy and thus reducing CO2 emissions are becoming - in addition to world-renowned local beer - another magnet of international concern. That is why the city was nominated for the Czech Republic in the division of big cities for the final struggle for the podium in the European RES Champions League once again.
Pilsen was awarded a silver medal in its division during the ceremony of the European RES Champions League 2014 on 25th June in Brussels.
Author: Karel Merhaut
Photo: archives of LEA and Pilsen city