The Czech Republic has both brown and black coal mines1)
. Brown coal is extracted mostly on the surface in North Bohemia; however, this form of exploitation is very harmful to the landscape and has therefore been limited. Brown coal is used mainly for power generation. Areas with brown-coal power stations were heavily polluted in the past, but the power stations were technically upgraded in the 1990s, significantly reducing harmful emissions.
Black coal is primarily extracted in North Moravia near the cities of Ostrava and Karviná. This coal is of very good quality; therefore, nearly half of the extracted output is used to produce coke, which is then used in the metallurgic and chemical industries due to its properties2)
The Czech Republic also has minor oil fields. This oil is of very good quality and is exclusively used in the chemical industry to produce lubricants.
Power in the Czech Republic is mostly generated by thermal power stations that are located near coal mines. These power stations generate 66% of the total power generated in the country. Nuclear power stations represent another important source of power in the country. The Czech Republic has two nuclear power stations, located in Temelín in South Bohemia and in Dukovany in South Moravia; an intermediate storage facility for spent radioactive fuel has been built in Dukovany as well. These two power stations account for 31% of the total power generated.
There are also many hydro-power stations in the Czech Republic. The nature of local rivers (long rivers with gentle currents) makes it necessary to build dams in order to generate power; therefore, this type of power creation accounts for only 3% of the total power generated and is used mostly to balance peak output. The share of renewable power sources has significantly increased in the past few years. Wind-power stations have been built in suitable locations with regular wind; these sites are mostly located in West Bohemia in the Krušné Mountains. The share of wind energy will continue to grow as this method of power generation has been subsidized. The share of renewable power sources was 2.9 % in 2005. The following table provides a brief survey of renewable power sources in the Czech Republic.
Renewable sources of power in 2004
Energy in fueling used for heating (GJ)
Energy in fueling used for power (GJ)
Primary energy (GJ)
Energy summary (GJ)
Share of primary energy
Share of renewable energy
Biomass (except households)
18 439 714,8
4 155 069,6
22 594 784,4
19 500 000,0
19 500 000,0
7 269 840,0
7 269 840,0
|Municipal solid waste (bio-degradable)|
2 452 371,7
2 505 265,8
1 288 160,9
2 102 446,7
1 313 014,0
1 313 014,0
41 680 247,4
5 022 249,5
9 200 667,2
55 903 164,1
Source: Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, 2004
Since reducing heavy industry in the 1990s, the Czech Republic has become a major power exporter in Europe. The Czech Republic produces a volume of power comparable that of Spain or the United Kingdom. 1) The quality of coal is determined most by the carbon content. The older the coal, the more carbon is present and the more the coal heats. Black coal is older; it starts up in carbon. Brown coal is younger; it starts up in Tertiary.
2) Coke is a first-class reductant in a blast furnace and cannot be substituted fully by other firing elements because coke creates a higher temperature and does not agglomerate, which means it enables the access of air.