Weekly: Eternal Love for Coal
Electricity producer Slovenske Elektrarne may quickly say goodbye to its idea to shut down the power plant Novaky. Slovak Prime Minister has promised miners to preserve their jobs until 2030.
Slovenske Elektrarne has been struggling with their two coal-fired power plants for a longer time. The production at these plants is unprofitable and the power plants require constant investments to meet ecological standards. The power plant in Vojany is in a worse situation as it does not receive any state subsidies and has repeatedly been on the brink of death. The power plant in Novaky should be in a better situation as all consumers subsidise it with roughly € 90 million a year. They do not directly subsidize the power plant, but electricity generation from coal extracted in Slovakia. The power plant is obliged to to generate electricity from domestic coal. The new regulatory period and rules come into effect next year. The regulator set these rules to please electricity consumers, but irritate a dominant electricity producer whose additional payments for electricity generation from coal will decrease from 90 to 70 million euros. This move has made Slovenske Elektrarne’s blood boil. The company has clearly demonstrated that if the situation does not change, the power plant will be shut down in 2017.
Slovenske Elektrarne must be well-aware of the fact that as long as Robert Fico is the Prime Minister, talks about the shutdown of the thermal power plant in Novaky and destruction of Slovak mining is a joke rather than a real possibility. Prime Minister is well-known for his undying love for the Slovak mining. And he has showed it. „I want to assure miners in Slovakia that as long as I’m Prime Minister, my government will never turn back on miners,“ he said during the celebrations of Miner’s Day last week after descending underground. He guaranteed work to miners at least until 2030 – until the general economic interest is valid. We all have to chip in for Slovak mining.
Electricity producer Slovenske Elektrarne may quickly say goodbye to its idea to shut down the power plant Novaky. The question remains what Slovenske Elektrarne will get from the state for continuing the operation of increasingly loss-making power plant. Let’s hope that it will not be a big blow for electricity consumers who will not even suspect it.
We are „greener“ than we have thought
The Slovaks are „greener“ than we could have imagined. The vouchers within the third round of the support for the purchase and installation of a small-scale renewable energy source (RES) have been handed out in thirty minutes. Those who have received a voucher may feel happy and start working. On the other hand, those who have not been given the voucher are criticizing the whole system. They blame the agency in charge. However, many of them should answer to the question whether they were well prepared before the third round. They may be prepared better next time as many other rounds will follow. The agency may also learn the lesson from its own mistakes that were certainly not avoided. We have to realise that most funds for the support of small-scale renewable energy sources come from the EU. We can imagine the bureaucracy that must accompany the entire process.
The author is the editor-in-chief of the portal vEnergetike.sk.
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