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Economic assessment of measures to improve air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region as a part of the commission “Increasing PO2 absorption capacity – an analysis of national and regional policies”

Solution period: 1/2011–5/2011
Contracting Authority: Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
Realizator: IREAS, Institut pro strukturální politiku, o. p. s.
Contact: Ondřej Vojáček (vojacek@ireas.cz)

How can we improve the air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region? Based on this analysis, the costs of different measures vary significantly. It is advisable to implement measures at local heating sources!

The objective of the economic part of the project (carried out by IREAS) was an economic assessment of various options for improving the air quality in the areas of the Moravian-Silesian Region that are the most severely affected by air pollution. The analysis focused on quantification of the unit costs of dust emission abatement (i.e., costs of not emitting 1 tonne of dust) in the sectors of industry, local heating sources and transport.

The analysis showed that there are differences of hundreds of percent in pollution abatement costs. By far the cheapest measure identified was emission reduction at the level of local heating sources (between CZK 50 and 500 thousand; only thermal insulation costs more – CZK 1 to 2 million/tonne of PM), followed by measures in industry (from CZK 0.3 million to 3 million; the median was approximately CZK 0.5 million). Measures in the transport sector proved to be very costly (starting at CZK 10 up to 30 million per tonne; only introduction of CNG buses is somewhat cheaper, namely CZK 2 million). The conclusions indicate the necessity to carry out economic analyses when formulating air protection policies, especially when selecting and prioritising measures. However, the same conclusion applies to, e.g., climate and water protection policies.

The outcomes and their repeated presentation have significantly contributed to a shift in the public debate on regulation of air pollution sources from large industrial sources towards local heating sources. To this day, the results are regularly presented by policymakers independently of the authors at all major conferences on air protection in the Moravian-Silesian Region (most recently, government plenipotentiary doc. Ing. Jiří Cienciala, CSc., in April 2015).

Project team: Ondřej Vojáček, Ladislav Sobotka