Holječík: Deregulation of the household market requires only a change of legislation
Week in Slovakia
Monday – 2nd May 2011
The intention to build a new nuclear source in Jaslovské Bohunice is still alive. Jadrová energetická spoločnosť Slovenska (JESS – Nuclear energy company of Slovakia) is currently preparing all the material that are needed to conduct a feasibility study. The new nuclear power plan should stand where the current inactive block V1 of Jaslovské Bohunice stands. The project should not be influenced even by the catastrophe that happened in the Japanese power plant Fukušima and all the new findings are being incorporated into the prepared material in order to increase security. The total installed capacity of the new reactors should be 1.700 MW and should cost approximately 4 to 6 billion Euro and should be finished until 2020.
Tuesday – 3rd May 2011
Until now The Regulatory Office for Network Industries did not receive a proposal for changing the price of gas for Slovak households. Slovenský plynárenský priemysel is currently only following prices and evaluating the situation on global markets. In Czech republic the price will go up. The company RWE Transgas, which is the dominant player on the Czech gas market has announced that the prices for Czech households will increase by an average of 9,5 % due to the situation on the global markets. Other companies as E.ON or Bohemia Energy will also follow RWE. The last time the prices changed in Slovakia was at the beginning of 2011 when they rose by 4,47 %.
The nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice currently fulfils the basic requirements of the safety tests, which were set by the European Commission. The information was also confirmed by Prime Minister Iveta Radičová. The power plant also approved other requirements which are necessary in order to pass the so called stress-tests which will be carried out in a number of EU member states. Nuclear power plants in Slovakia provide approximately 50 % of all the electricity. The Director General of Slovenské Elektrárne Paolo Ruzzini informed that the company invested 500 million Euro into increasing security of the power plants as was instructed by the International Agency for Nuclear Energy.
Wednesday – 4th May 2011
Construction of a new nuclear power plant by the Czech energy group ČEZ and Nuclear and decommissioning company (JAVYS) of Slovakia will not be finished sooner than in 2025. „Right now it would be too early to state when the construction works will start,” said the spokesman of JAVYS Dobroslav Dobák.
The biggest energy companies present at the Slovak markets with electricity, gas or heat together with Institute for Energy Security (ESI) published an analysis in which they criticized the regulatory policy proposal. According to Jozef Holjenčík, chief of the Regulatory Office the analysis is biased and does not correspond with reality , but he also admitted that there are also some inspiring suggestions in it, but some of the issues would need to be at least corrected a bit. According to the analysis, energy prices should be regulated during the upcoming five years. Peter Marčan (ESI) said that ÚRSO also received an invitation to join the debates and activities of the working group, but they did not arrive at the meetings.
The energy companies and ESI are not satisfied with a number of issues in the regulatory policy. First of all, the Regulatory Office should be definitely independent. This issue is also being often highlighted by the Ministry of Economy. As Kristián Takáč, the spokesman of MoE informed, the Ministry is not satisfied with the fact that for example for almost four years the position of the chief of Council as well as ÚRSO is managed by one person. Holjenčík on the other hand refutes all these arguments and says that the Office is independent just as it was during 2001 – 2007 when both of the positions were also governed by one person.
Companies that are active in the Slovak energy sector and the Institute would also like to see an ending to regulation of energy segments where already more suppliers are present. „This would allow a product competition,” explained Marčan. „The new regulatory policy also counts with a gradual de-regulation of electricity supplies or gas supplies for households. We are ready for this. We only need a primary legislation to be created,” said Holjenčík. „Deregulation is a trend which is also supported by the European Commission. If we take into consideration the fact that the price of the commodity, where no natural monopoly exists, would be created by the principle of supply and demand, it would lead to a fall in the prices for consumers,” stated Michal Hudec from energia.sk for the Slovak television.
The new regulatory policy for the period 2012 – 2016 was supposed to be approved by the end of April, but the resort is still analysing it.
Thursday – 5th May 2011
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ÚJD SR) gave an approval to Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. to use nuclear fuel of second generation, which is more enriched and contains more gadolinium. „The aim of the change to the new fuel is to reach the six-year fuel cycle with a better utilization of the fuel,” informed the Nuclear Regulatory Authority. Acording to ÚJD this type of fuels should be gradually introduced in every reactors of in all the nuclear power plants in Slovakia.