Environment Centre
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What is CU Environment Centre

The Charles University Environment centre, was founded as a part of Charles University in 1992. It conducts environmental research and provides environmental expertise and information for students, university staff and for the general public. The centre collaborates with parliamentary bodies, state administration, non-government organizations and many academic and research institutions both locally and abroad. CUEC consists of the three units: sustainable development indicators, environmental economics, and education and information for sustainable development.

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L. Rečka, M. Ščasný, Impacts of carbon pricing, brown coal availability and gas cost on Czech energy system up to 2050, Energy, Volume 108, 1 August 2016, Pages 19-33, ISSN 0360-5442, Permanent link



A dynamic partial equilibrium model, TIMES (​The Integrated MARKAL-EFOM System), is built to optimize the energy system in a post-transition European country, the Czech Republic. The impacts of overall nine scenarios on installed capacity, capital and fuel costs, air quality pollutant emission, emission of CO2 and environmental and health damage are quantified for a period up to 2050. These scenarios are built around three different price sets of the EUA (EU allowance) to emit greenhouse gasses alongside a policy that retains the ban on brown coal mining in two Czech mines, a policy that will allow the re-opening of mining areas under this ban (i.e. within the territorial ecological limits), and a low natural gas price assumption. We found that the use of up until now dominant brown coal will be significantly reduced in each scenario, although reopening the coal mines will result in its smaller decline. With low EUA price, hard coal will become the dominant fuel in electricity generation, while nuclear will overtake this position with a 51% or even 65% share assuming the central price of EUA, or high EUA price, respectively. The low price of natural gas will result in an increasing gas share from an almost zero share recently up to about 42%. This stimulus does not however appear at all with low EUA price. Neither of these scenarios will achieve the renewable energy sources 2030 targets and only a high EUA price will lead to almost full de-carbonization of the Czech power system, with fossil fuels representing only 16% of the energy mix. The low EUA price will result in an increase in CO2 emissions, whereas the high EUA price will reduce CO2 emission by at least 81% compared to the 2015 reference level. Those scenarios that will result in CO2 emission reduction will also generate ancillary benefits due to reduction in air quality emissions, on average over the entire period, at least at 38€ per t of avoided CO2, whereas scenarios that will lead to CO2 increase will generate ancillary costs at least of 31€ per t CO2.

Keywords: Energy system optimization; TIMES model; Climate change mitigation; Environmental benefits; Ancillary benefits; Czech Republic

Our recent publications

Weinzettel, Jan; Wood, Richard. Environmental Footprints of Agriculture Embodied in International Trade: Sensitivity of Harvested Area Footprint of Chinese Exports. Ecological Economics. March 2018,  145, pp. 323–330. Available for limited time here. Permanent link.

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Alberini, A., Bigano, A., Ščasný, M., Zvěřinová, I. (2018) Preferences for Energy Efficiency vs. Renewables: What Is the Willingness to Pay to Reduce CO2 Emissions? Ecological Economics. Permanent link.

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Kapitulčinová, D., Atkisson, A., Perdue, J., Will, M. (2017) Towards integrated sustainability in higher education – Mapping the use of the Accelerator toolset in all dimensions of university practice. Journal of Cleaner Production. Permanent link.

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Dlouhá, J.,  Henderson, L., Kapitulčinová, D., Mader, C. (2017) Sustainability-oriented higher education networks: Characteristics and achievements in the context of the UN DESD. Journal of Cleaner Production. Permanent link

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Dlouhá, J., Pospíšilová, M. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development Goals in public debate: The importance of participatory research in reflecting and supporting the consultation process in developing a vision for Czech education. Journal of Cleaner Production, Permanent link

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Janda K., Málek J., Rečka L. (2017) Influence of renewable energy sources on transmission networks in Central Europe. Energy Policy, Vol. 107, September 2017, pp 524–537 dostupný zde/available here

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Mulà, I., Tilbury, D., Ryan, A., Mader, M., Dlouhá, J., Mader, C., ... & Alba, D. (2017). Catalysing Change in Higher Education for Sustainable Development: A Review of Professional Development Initiatives for University Educators.  Permanent link

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Helena Medková, David Vačkář, Jan Weinzettel: Appropriation of potential net primary production by cropland in terrestrial ecoregions, Journal of Cleaner ProductionVolume 150, 1 May 2017, Pages 294–300 - available online.

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