"Energy transition paths - what has the war in Ukraine changed?" - under this title, a debate organised by Euractiv in cooperation with the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE) took place on the 8th of February 2023 in Brussels. The meeting was attended by European Union officials, Members of the European Parliament, as well as the representatives of research institutes.
During the high-level panel, its participants - Eero Ailio, Adviser, Energy transition and local governance, DG ENER, European Commission, Radan Kanev MEP, ENVI Committee, Rapporteur for the ENVI opinion on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (recast), European Parliament, Andreas Graf, Senior Associate, European Energy Policy, Agora Energiewende and Wanda Buk, Member of the Management Board, PKEE & Vice-President of the Management Board for Regulation of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. discussed how can EU targets take into account different member states starting points as well as the geopolitical situation and what role can the upcoming electricity market design reform play in increasing energy security. Moreover, speakers agreed that emergency measures that the EU has adopted to allow Member States to limit price signals at the electricity wholesale markets should not be extended.
Eero Ailio, Adviser in DG ENER, said that in the face of the energy crisis the connection between solidarity and savings go hand in hand. - When we asked the Member States to act in a solidary manner, to reduce the demand for gas, they did - he emphasised. - We are not out of the woods yet, but there is this situation where we will have to go from crisis measures to more structural ones - he noted.
Commenting on this remark MEP Radan Kanev, indicated that we have to expect a decade of turmoil on the energy market. It requires all the recovery and resilience plans in Europe. - We need to keep certain security reserve shares and the mining as well as generations options open - which is not an easy option - he pointed out.
Wanda Buk, Vice-President of the Management Board of PGE, Member of the Management Board of PKEE, has stressed that from her perspective, in the process of finding ways to solve the crisis on the energy market the EU addressed the wrong issue. - We experience peaking gas prices which heavily affected electricity market, meanwhile the EU's response did not address the reason that led us to the situation - she explained. - The energy crisis is caused first and foremost by the crisis in the energy fuel markets instead than the wrong architecture of the energy market. In addition, I would like to point out that there are still unsolved problems of the EU ETS system. The EU ETS affects the liquidity of a company on a daily basis and lower liquidity affects the possibility to invest more into green transition. Our proposal is to support the companies from the energy sector in this area by implementing states guarantees for the purchase of emission allowances - she added.
Following the discussion, Eero Ailio pointed out the crisis shows we need to go further and reform the electricity market. - Creating the internal market was a big step, but it has come to its limit. The results it was producing last year were technically correct but socially unacceptable - he highlighted.
In response to this statement Mrs Buk explained that PKEE is in favour of rather modest, well thought out and careful reform of the EU's electricity market design. - It is surprising that distribution issues are so little touched upon in the consultation questionnaire. It should be one of the priorities, since imposing ambitious permitting deadlines is not enough to address bottlenecks at the distribution grid development - she underlined.
"The Polish Energy Transition Path" report: https://pkee.pl/en/publications/raport-ey-i-pkee-polska-sciezka-transformacji-energetycznej/