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Polish regulator slams ministry dual role as “Soviet relic”

Electricité

27 Sept 2018 11:33

Szczecin

27 Sept 2018 11:33

(Montel) The Polish energy ministry’s dual role of running the country’s state-owned utilities and formulating energy policy is a “Soviet-era” relic putting market development back many years, the head of the country’s energy regulator said on Thursday. 

It was harmful for competition with the ministry favouring state-owned firms, Maciej Bando of the Energy Regulatory Office said at an industry event in Katowice, referring to a recent change in legislation that allowed Energa to break contracts with a wind farm operator.

"This is sad… this is backtracking by many, many years market development,” Bando said.

He also criticised the ministry for concentrating power plant ownership in state hands, with state-run PGE and Enea taking over 5 GW capacity from France’s Engie and EDF last year.

“I am supporting market development, not concentration,” he said.

“Not transparent”

“With so few players on the market you can get an impression the power market is not transparent enough.”

There is an ongoing discussion in the EU to unbundle vertically integrated utilities by forcing them to sell their distribution arms.

It would work very well for consumers in Poland, Bando told Montel.

Poland’s four state-run utilities Enea, Energa, PGE and Tauron own the majority of the country’s power plants and are also distribution system operators selling power to the largest stake of Polish consumers.

The energy ministry was unavailable for comment when contacted by Montel.

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