Air pollution - Drivers and pressures (Czech Republic)
- Air pollution
Energy demand for industry, transport and households are the key drivers. Increasing energy prices lead to the use of cheaper fuels in transport and households.
Energy demand is one of the main drivers. The industrial and transport sectors are the highest consumers of final energy (see Fig.). Nearly two-thirds of the electricity and heat produced come from fossil fuel power plants. Nuclear power stations are the second highest source of the electric energy. The opening up of the electricity market after 2000 and possible export, increased consumption due to the growth of economy and higher household demand are reasons why there has been no reduction in energy production from coal power plants. The energy sector still remains one of the main air pollutant sources (see Fig.).
Between 2000 and 2008, structural changes shifted the industry towards fields with lower energy and emission intensity (see Fig.). Technology innovations were implemented in all sectors. Nevertheless, high energy and material intensity still decelerates environmental impacts of industry reduction.
The energy consumption in the transport sector increased by 86 % between 2000 and 2007, especially due to the growth in road transport (see Fig.). Consequently, the negative environmental effects of transportation increased, in contrast to most other economic sectors, even though the specific energy and emission intensity of transportation decreased as a result of technological advances and application of environmental measures.
Increasing gas and electricity prices force households to save on heating and lead to the use of cheaper fuels, e.g. coal, wood, pellets etc. This has reduced costs of heating by about 50 % in comparison to heating with gas. The use of cheaper fuels in household combustion equipment for heating purposes is the main source of primary PM and remains a pressing problem. Additional information concerning key drivers: here and http://issar.cenia.cz/issar/page.php?id=1557 (CZ version).
Despite the ongoing decrease in emissions and meeting of national emission ceilings set for SO2, NOx, NH3 and NMVOC, the air quality situation is not sufficient. Occasional fluctuations are the result of meteorological and dispersion conditions. The reasons why the decrease in concentrations and the increase in the improvement of air quality do not continue are not clear. The EEA stated that increased temperatures due to climate change, long-range transport of pollution, and natural emissions of ozone precursors are possible causes (EEA, 2009).
Emissions of primary particle matter and secondary particle matter precursors
In CZ, emissions of secondary PM10 precursors contribute to total PM10 formation by 92 % (see Fig.). In the meantime, NOx has the dominant role (see Fig.). The public electricity and heat production and transport are the main sources of total particulate matter emissions (see Fig.).
Emissions of surface ozone precursors
Emissions of NOx (59 % of the total aggregated emissions) and NMVOC (31 %) are the most important pollutants that contributed to the formation of ozone in 2007 (see Fig.). Transport and public electricity and heat production are the main sources of ozone precursors (see Fig.). Additional information and data concerning emissions in the Czech Republic available on CHMI web pages: here and here. Indicators concerning emissions in the Czech Republic according to the EEA Core Set of Indicators available on CENIA web pages (in the mean time not available in English): http://issar.cenia.cz/issar/page.php?id=1522, http://issar.cenia.cz/issar/page.php?id=1524 and http://issar.cenia.cz/issar/page.php?id=1582.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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