Apr 05

Prime Minister Tusk as the Chairman of the European Commission: A huge step towards a „nuclear Union“

DOnald TuskIt took longer than expected, but now even the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk understood that a nuclear power plant cannot be built without a significant (among others) financial help from the state’s budget.  So much about the “competitiveness” of the nuclear energy mentioned in the Nuclear Energy Program from 2010. After the declarations of Mr. Tusk concerning renewable sources of energy that he wouldn’t adopt a policy “only to satisfy a small group of investors” (see previous entry), shortly after the meeting with his long-time friend and (of course coincidentally) Chairman of the Polish Energy Group responsible for the realization of the Polish nuclear program, he declared that the support of the state, only on a larger scale and “also as far as the search for the sources of financing is concerned will be an obvious part of the project”.

Change of scenery: Brussels mid-2014. Leaders of the member countries have to decide who will take the most important posts in the EU: that of the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council. According to Hugo Brady Donald Tusk would be high on the list of the potential candidates. Poland as the “France of the East” would in this way be granted one of the two most important posts in the EU. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://european-in-berlin.de/?p=70

Apr 01

European Emission Trading Scheme: What are REALLY Polish interests?

CO2On 14 March 2013 European Parliament with the majority of 377 to 195 adopted a resolution on the Energy Roadmap 2050 published by the Commission in 2012.  It included among others important statements concerning the reform of the Emission Trading Scheme that would instigate a complete overhaul of the European power sector. The possible changes to the ETS proposed by the Parliament included withholding some allowances from the market (“backloading”), increasing the annual reduction of the amount of certificates on the market (current decrease: 1.74% per year) and possibly setting a “reserve price” for the allowances.

To what degree these changes would be effective in increasing the price of carbon needs to be further discussed. But one thing is clear: a reform of the European Emission Trading Scheme is urgently needed. Without making producers of electricity from conventional sources pay the full external price of the pollution they cause, alternative sources of energy have only small chance to develop: that is unless there is an additional and effective support mechanism for renewables. But with all the retroactive changes in some countries and legal instability which recently (luckily only shortly) affected even Germany, an effective support mechanism for renewable sources of energy is more an exception rather than the rule. At the same time investors who would like to replace old coal-fired power plants by newer and more effective ones or by gas-fired plants are unwilling to invest because they don’t know how the legal framework behind the ETS will change in the coming decades. So changes to the ETS are necessary and supported by the majority of countries and non-governmental organizations, including EURELECTRIC. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://european-in-berlin.de/?p=66

Mar 28

EU targets for 2030: reactions of the Polish MEPs

Yesterday the Commission presented its Green Paper in which it proposed targets concerning the share of energy from renewable sources and the reduction of the CO2 emissions by 2030. According to the document the EU should limit its CO2 emissions by 40% over the next 17 years and increase the share of energy from renewable sources to 30%.

The reaction of the Members of the European Parliament coming from Poland was not long in coming. According to Lena Kolarska-Bobińska from the Civic Platform governing in Poland the adoption of such goals is doubtful due to the economic crisis. Mrs. Kolarska-Bobińska seems to have failed to realize, that the economic crisis led to the reduction of the CO2 emissions which is one of the reasons for the fall in the prices of carbon. The 40% goal is necessary to make long-term planning in low-carbon sources of energy and energy efficiency profitable. Further Mrs. Kolarska-Bobińska stressed that Poland would (again) veto this proposal and would in this case be supported by a number of other countries. Well…. good luck! Three times over the last two years Poland was left alone in vetoing the proposals of the European Commission. Nonetheless Polish government still purports that it is right in blocking a more ambitious European energy and climate policy. As mentioned by the former Polish Minister of Economy Waldemar Pawlak: “Although we are alone, we know we are right””. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://european-in-berlin.de/?p=56

Mar 27

“Free market: yes, but only if it’s good for us…“

The European Emission Trading Scheme doesn’t work. The low prices of the carbon allowances make investment in the modernization of the existing power plants unprofitable. At the same time the uncertainty concerning the development of the carbon market and the possible increase in the price of carbon due to possible intervention of the European Commission stops investors from investing in new capacities altogether. Such situation is not good for anybody. And yet Polish government and the incumbent energy companies in Poland are strongly opposing any changes to the ETS until 2020:  it is a free market mechanism and the price of the CO2 certificates simply reflects the situation on the market. So the defense of the “free market” character of emission trading scheme seems to be more important than its effectiveness. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://european-in-berlin.de/?p=54

Mar 26

The necessary minimum….

Today Polish Prime Minister Tusk announced that Poland would take necessary action to fulfill the 15% renewable energy target by 2020 set in directive 2009/28/EC and “nothing more”. According to the Prime Minister the achievement of this goal will be made in the cheapest way possible to avoid an increase in the energy prices. He stressed that the decision of the government concerning the support for renewable sources of energy would stop the “unhealthy discussions about where to put the money of the taxpayers”. “Some investors are impatiently waiting for information [about the changes of the support for renewable energy] but they have to patient, because for us the problem is not a group of investors wanting to invest in this or that sector, but citizens who will later have to pay for the energy”. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://european-in-berlin.de/?p=58

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