CZ/SK verze

Rail Carriers in the Czech Republic May Lose Their Obligation to Pay a Fee for Renewable Sources of Electricity

Rail Carriers in the Czech Republic May Lose Their Obligation to Pay a Fee for Renewable Sources of Electricity
photo: railway
24 / 03 / 2021

In the Czech Republic, the Chamber of Deputies is preparing a proposal to abolish the mandatory renewable sources fee for all rail carriers using the network. It thus responds to the need to compare the conditions of road and rail freight transport. The proposal also reflects the current difficulties caused by the pandemic, where carriers are penalised for not using pre-ordered energy as a result of cancellations, in particular, of passenger services.

This week, the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic began to discuss a proposal to eliminate the obligation to pay for sustainable sources of electricity for railway carriers using the Czech railroad network. Although the fee is not high, the total is EUR 30 million for the entire railway network of the Czech Republic per one calendar year. For rail carriers, the fall of energy costs in the operation of zero-emissions railway locomotives should compensate for the competitive disadvantage compared to road transport.

The Czech Republic has undertaken to transfer 30% of road transport to rail by 2030. This ratio is expected to be as high as 50% in 2050. However, apart from this measure, the Czech Republic has not been able to fulfil the commitments previously agreed on in any way. According to the Association of Rail Carriers, higher taxation, charging for road transport or subsidy titles for the operation of rail transport could speed up the situation. However, all of these methods are considered difficult by the carriers themselves in the long run. The carriers believe it is necessary to promote interoperability, build transhipment terminals and above all, improve the throughput of freight transport routes. In the Czech Republic, the biggest problem is the capacity of the lines and their low line speed. On the contrary, the indisputable competitive advantage is the dense network of public railways and many old terminals from the previous regime, which are waiting for their further use.