Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Energy self-sufficient Kněžnice

Organisation: Centre for Transport and Energy Website: Added: September 02, 2022
Project start date: January 01, 2014
Project end date: January 01, 2022


An example of the only ‘energy-independent’ village in the Czech Republic is Kněžnice. Thanks to its bioenergy centre, consisting of a biogas plant and a biomass heating plant, it can fully cover its energy needs. The biomass boilers burn organic material (mainly wood chips and straw from local farmers) and provide heating and hot water to about 150 Kneznice households. The boilers are only in operation when the biogas plant is not able to cover the heat demand, i.e. mainly in winter. The operation of these facilities is provided by the municipal company Energetika Kněžice s.r.o., which employs about 5 people. The total cost of the project amounted to almost 140 million CZK. The project was financed mainly from subsidies from the European Regional Development Fund and the State Environmental Fund. For the rest, the municipality took out a bank loan. Since 2006, when the biogas plant was put into operation, there has been a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a strengthening of the local economy, and a positive change in the perception of the use of renewable energy sources among the local population.

Financial data

According to the Kohesio website, EUR 293 419 from ERDF and CF from the 2014 to 2020 budgeting period.


The sale of electricity itself is a significant constraint. Under the current legislation, the municipality cannot sell electricity directly to citizens but must first sell it cheaply to the grid, from which citizens repurchase it at five times the original price. Complicated rules discourage other municipalities from introducing similar energy systems. The Czech government should promptly adopt a new energy law which should adjust the commercial conditions in favour of community electricity producers.

Information sources

Village website, policy briefs

Other info 

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.