The Ministry of Transport announces a call for support for rail freight carriers in electric traction for the year 2021. CZK 230 million is available in the ROCET subsidy program, which will be used to compensate for payments for renewable energy sources made by carriers last year.
"I perceive the provision of financial support for rail freight transport in electric traction as one of the important measures that can support the competitiveness of this ecological mode of transport compared to other modes of transport," said Transport Minister Martin Kupka, adding that the previous Babiš government did not envisage such financial support for rail freight transport at all. "I agreed with Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura on the release of funds. In these critical times, such assistance is extremely necessary," the minister added.
The Ministry's step is also welcomed by the Executive Director of the Association of Rail Freight Carriers Oldřich Sládek. "I appreciate the fact that despite the difficult budgetary situation, this support for rail freight transport was recognized as necessary by the state. The implementation of the policy of reducing emissions from transport is a common task of both private companies and the state," said Sládek.
The program aims to contribute to greater involvement of rail freight transport in electric traction in the transport of goods. The support consists in the compensation of the renewable energy fee paid by the carriers in the amount of the electricity they have consumed to the railway network operator. This measure is also intended to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of rail freight transport.
The ROCET program will be followed by a permanent exemption from renewable electricity charges for haulers using electricity to power their vehicles. This would apply to railways or cable cars as well as to transport companies operating subways, trams, or trolleybuses. This measure has been in force since the beginning of the year. However, the European Commission has yet to confirm that the fee waiver does not constitute unlawful public aid.