Brno - Investors wishing to build wind-power plants in the Czech Republic have markedly raised their financial offers to municipalities on whose territories they would like to erect the wind turbines.
Although three years ago companies were offering tens of thousands of Czech crowns, now they are speaking of millions to persuade local representatives to allow wind turbines behind their houses.
It is a merciless battle since places suitable for wind-power plants are running low in the Czech Republic and since regional politicians have begun to strike against in some parts of the country, such as Jihomoravský region (south Moravia).
Investors raising their offers
Municipalities may get compensated in two ways: the investors pay a rate once construction of power plants is allowed, most of them also offer CZK hundreds of thousands per year for each wind-turbine's running.
"It is no more enough to offer a municipality let's say 80,000 crowns, competition over places it tough. Actual rate for a turbine in land register has mounted to over 2 million crowns," said representative of a company constructing wind-power plants.
For example, in Drahansko in Olomoucký region, which is a place fought over by three companies, offers to the municipalities already reached tens of millions.
Also the ČEZ (Czech Energy Enterprises) Power Company, which is striving to build wind-power plants mainly in neighborhood of nuclear power plant Dukovany, has raised its offer. Some mayors have been persuaded by amounts that are already double compared with what the ČEZ was willing to pay a year ago.
For instance, Dukovany will receive CZK 210.000 per year for each wind-turbine during the first five years of its running. This amount will then be rising, up to CZK 270.000 per year between the fifteenth and twentieth years of running.
The ČEZ company's offer has also persuaded a municipality that is not near Dukovany. "It is an ecological resource of energy and it will markedly contribute to our municipal budget too," said Šárka Ježková, mayor of Blížkovice in south Moravia, where five wind-power plants are to be built.
Similar amounts are being spoken of elsewhere as well. For example two wind-turbines near Odry are to gain CZK 2 million for municipal purse after a final building approval is obtained. The town will then receive other CZK 100,000 to 200,000 each year, depending on the amount of energy produced.
At present there are tens of wind-power plants in the country. Their total output is 114 megawatts (MW) which means that they can already sustain up to 36,000 households, i.e. a medium-sized town.
Activists dislike the companies' plans. They have united against the wind-turbines in a few associations they had founded around the country. They say the companies' practice of promising millions equates to corrupction.