Czech Republic

czech_republic_round_icon_640Coal is the only significant indigenous energy resource in the Czech Republic. The country’s proven coal reserves have been estimated at some 880 million tonnes. Brown coal, which accounts for more than 90% of these reserves, is mainly produced in north-western Bohemia, while hard coal is mined in northern Moravia. Significant quantities of hard coal are exported to Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Hungary.



General data






€ billion


Primary energy consumption, which amounted to 58.4 Mtce in 2015, was supplied as follows: 39.2% coal (total 22.8 Mtce, of which 6.3 Mtce was hard coal and 16.5 Mtce was brown coal), 16.0% natural gas (9.3 Mtce) and 21.1% oil (12.3 Mtce). The primary energy mix is supplemented by nuclear energy with a 16.4% share (9.5 Mtce), as well as by solar, hydro and wind power, which together account for 1.0% (0.6 Mtce), with biofuels and waste accounting for a further 6.4% (3.8 Mtce).

The Czech Republic’s dependence on energy imports has been quite modest to date; 30.4% of energy demand is met by imports. However, imports are structurally imbalanced. The country’s dependence on oil and gas imports is 96% to 98%. A number of direct and indirect measures are being adopted to prevent any further increase in energy imports, including: increased energy efficiency, the promotion of renewable energy sources in areas where their use is effective in reaching a 13% share in final energy consumption by 2020, and the efficient use of indigenous solid fuel resources, mainly brown coal.

In 2015, approximately 51.4% of total gross electricity production (83.9 TWh) was generated from coal, 32.0% from nuclear energy and 7.0% from solar, hydro and wind. Conventional coal-fired power stations have a total capacity of approximately 10.8 GW. The Czech electricity market has been fully liberalised since 2006 and the gas market since 2007.

There are five coal mining companies in the Czech Republic: OSTRAVSKO-KARVINSKÉ DOLY, the only hard coal producer, and four brown coal mining companies, SEVEROČESKÉ DOLY, owned by ČEZ and the biggest producer of brown coal, VRŠANSKÁ UHELNÁ, with coal reserves to last until 2055, SEVERNÍ ENERGETICKÁ with the largest brown coal reserves in the Czech Republic, and SOKOLOVSKÁ UHELNÁ, the smallest brown coal mining company. All of these coal mining companies have been privatised. The majority state-owned utility company, ČEZ, is the largest coal consumer in the Czech Republic and the most important Czech supplier of electricity.

Hard coal

The Czech Republic has 42 million tonnes of economically recoverable hard coal reserves (as of 1 January 2016). The largest hard coal deposits are located in the Upper Silesian coal basin. With an area of 6 500 square kilometres, this coal basin ranks among the largest in Europe. A major part is located in Poland, while about one sixth (1 200 square kilometres) lies in the Czech Republic where it is called the Ostrava-Karviná basin (after the city of Ostrava and the town of Karviná). Here, OSTRAVSKO-KARVINSKÉ DOLY (OKD) extracts hard coal from deep mines. In 2015, saleable output was 8.2 million tonnes, with a workforce of around 10 131 own employees and 3 495 contractors. Coal is currently extracted at three deep mines: DZ 1 (Karviná and Darkov), DZ 2 (ČSM) and DZ 3 (Paskov). The worked seams at the Paskov colliery near Ostrava range in thickness from 0.8 to 1.6 metres. The thickness of the Karviná seams ranges from 1.5 to 6.5 metres. Longwall working with shearer loaders (90.2%) and ploughs (9.8%) is employed, combined with controlled caving. Mechanical supports (95.1%) and individual hydraulic props (4.9%) are used to support the coalfaces. OKD is trialling “room and pillar” mining as a potential new method in the DZ 2 mine. At each of the collieries, the extracted coal is processed in preparation plants where it is graded as coking coal or steam coal, based on its quality parameters.

Brown coal and lignite

The Czech Republic has 737 million tonnes of economically recoverable brown coal reserves (as of 1 January 2016). In addition to a coal basin in northern Bohemia and another basin near the town of Sokolov, there are coalfields in the south of the country, although they are not economically viable. Production of brown coal totalled 38.1 million tonnes in 2015, providing an important contribution to the country’s energy supply.

The main brown coal deposit and the largest mining area, covering 1 400 square kilometres, is the Northern Bohemian brown coal basin, which is located at the foothills of the Krušné hory mountains, along the border with Germany (Saxony), in the vicinity of the towns of Kadaň, Chomutov, Most, Teplice and Ústí nad Labem. The coal seams in this area extend to depths of up to 400 metres and are between 15 and 30 metres thick.

Brown coal is extracted in the central part of the Northern Bohemian brown coal basin by two mining companies, VRŠANSKÁ UHELNÁ (VUAS) and SEVERNÍ ENERGETICKÁ (Sev.en).

Sev.en manages the country’s largest brown coal deposit, the ČSA surface mine, which holds reserves of 750 million tonnes of good quality brown coal with an energy content of up to 17 500 kJ/kg. These reserves are sufficient to support extraction for the next one hundred years, subject to mining limits set in 1991. Within the current mining limits, extraction will last until 2024. A total of 3.6 million tonnes was produced in 2015.

In addition to the ČSA surface brown coal mine, Sev-en Group also operated the Centrum deep brown coal mine. Extraction from this mine ended on 1 April 2016 after 128 years of operation. Since this was the last deep brown coal mine in the country, the closure marked the end of deep brown coal mining in the Czech Republic.

In 2013, Sev.en acquired the 800 MW Chvaletice brown coal-fired power station to create a new vertically integrated company that has become a competitive player in the Czech energy market. After 2015, the power station will be retrofitted to meet the most stringent requirements for long-term environmentally friendly operation, thus extending its life to 2030. Sev.en had a total workforce of 924 in 2015.

VUAS, part of the CZECH COAL GROUP, extracts brown coal at the Vršany surface mine. Its coal reserves within existing mining limits have the longest remaining life of any in the Czech Republic. In 2013, the company entered into a fifty-year coal supply agreement with the ČEZ Počerady power station. This long-term contract secures the future of Vršany mine through to its depletion and brings economic stability to the northern Bohemian region. In 2015, VUAS extracted 6.7 million tonnes of brown coal with 706 employees.

The brown coal company SEVEROČESKÉ DOLY (SD) based in the town of Chomutov operates in the north-western part of the Northern Bohemian brown coal basin, to the east of the town of Most. SD extracts brown coal at two mine sites, namely Nástup Tušimice and Bílina. A total of 21 million tonnes was produced in 2015, decreasing SD’s share in national brown coal production to 55%.

The Nástup Tušimice brown coal mining area is located between the towns of Chomutov and Kadaň and comprises one large surface mine with an average annual output of 11.5 million tonnes. After preparation at the Tušimice crushing plant, most of the product is supplied to power stations operated by ČEZ.

The Bílina brown coal mining area has one surface mine located between the towns of Bílina and Duchcov. More than 9.5 million tonnes of brown coal are produced each year and transported to the Ledvice preparation plant before being delivered to power stations, industries and households.

In 2015, the SD group had a total workforce of 4 901.

Located in western Bohemia, in the western part of the coalfield below the Krušné hory mountains, the brown coal basin around the town of Sokolov is mined by SOKOLOVSKÁ UHELNÁ (SU). The company operates one surface mine, the Jiří mine. In 2015, its output was 6.4 million tonnes. Brown coal from the Sokolov area is mainly used for power and heat generation, with chemical by‑products from coal gasification also being important.

SU generates electricity and heat at two of its own plants: the Vřesová IGCC plant (2 x 200 MWe) and a CHP plant (5 x 270 MWt), which have a combined annual output of 3.5 TWh. Most of the heat produced is consumed by the company itself, although some is supplied to the towns of Karlovy Vary, Nejdek, Chodov and Nová Role. The company also pursues environmental activities, notably the reclamation of land affected by surface mining, and waste processing and disposal. SU’s operations employed a total workforce of 3 334 in 2015.

The Czech coal industry has always played and will continue to play a significant role in the national economy. In 2015, the share of coal in gross electricity production amounted to 51.4%. According to the National Energy Concept adopted in May 2015 the share of coal in electricity production should decrease to between 11% and 21% by 2040. To ensure the sustainable use of coal over this period, the Czech Republic is engaged in a comprehensive programme to renovate and renew coal-fired power stations in northern Bohemia. The 800 MW Tušimice II power station has been renovated, reducing its CO2 emissions significantly and extending its life to 2035. Likewise, the life of the Prunéřov II power station has been extended by twenty-five years following renovation of three units (750 MW), successfully reducing CO2 emissions by 40%. Finally, the new 660 MW Ledvice power station was commissioned in 2015 with a planned life of forty years.

Czech Republic

Coal resources and reserves

Resources hard coal



Resources lignite


1 601

Reserves hard coal



Reserves lignite



Primary energy production


Total primary energy production



Hard coal (saleable output)

Mt / Mtce

8.3 / 7.6

Lignite (saleable output)

Mt / Mtce

38.1 / 16.0

Saleable coal quality

Hard coal net calorific value


25 490‑32 070

Lignite net calorific value


11 600‑20 560

Hard coal ash content

% a.r.


Lignite ash content

% a.r.


Hard coal moisture content

% a.r.


Lignite moisture content

% a.r.


Hard coal sulphur content

% a.r.


Lignite sulphur content

% a.r.


Coal imports / exports


Hard coal imports



Hard coal exports



Primary energy consumption


Total primary energy consumption



Hard coal consumption



Lignite consumption



Power supply


Total gross power generation



Net power imports (exports)



Total power consumption



Power generation from hard coal



Power generation from lignite



Hard coal power generation capacity


1 200

Lignite power generation capacity


9 600



Direct in hard coal mining



Direct in lignite mining