Slovakia faces legal action from the EC. The National action plan for renewable energy use is late
Case: Slovakia faces legal action
from the EC. The National action
plan for renewable energy use is
The European Commission will start a legal proceeding against Slovakia due to the fact that the Slovak government did not submit to Brussels its National action plan for renewable energy use until 2020. According to the EU regulation, all the member states were supposed to hand in their national action plans until 30th June 2010. Five more countries found themselves in the same position as Slovakia too, namely: Hungary, Poland, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia.
According to Robert Merva, head of the communication office at the Ministry of Economy and Construction, the Ministry worked out and passed the plan over for inter-resort consultations already in June. Due to its longterm character and complete change of the government, it was not submitted for a discussion in the leaving parliament.
Back in June 2010, Juraj Novak from the Ministry of Economy under the government of Robert Fico stated, that the text of the National Plan was ready at that time. According to his words at the SPX conference in Podbanske on the 10th June, the plan was supposed to go under the consultations in June and could miss the deadline (30th June) by no more than 2 days.
At the end of July the situation looked nearly the same, Slovakia was late with the National action plan already a month. Ľubomír Kuchta from the Permanent representation of SR by the EU stated for energia.sk that in May 2010 the Slovak representation held meetings with the Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger, where we were supposed to get a confirmation that the Plan can be submitted even three months after the deadline.
On 30th September it is exactly three months, Brussels does not have our action plan, and hence Slovakia will face a legal action. Slovakia should now have two months for explaining the delay. If the government of Iveta Radicova or Minister of Economy Juraj Miskov are not able to do so, the proceeding will move to further phases and Slovakia might even end up with a case at the European Court of Justice.
Week news in Slovakia
Monday – 27th September
The elementary school in the town Lietavská Lúčka mannaged to save 75% on natural gas consumption. The huge savings were reached by insulating the building and modernizing the heat system. The school also started to use solar energy.
Tuesday – 28th September
Two more biogas stations will be constructed in the county of Veľký Krtíš. Each station will have a total installed capacity of 703 kW. The stations will use chicken scat for electricity and heat generation. Construction of both the biogas stations should be approximately 7 million euro.
Thursday – 30th September
Slovakia still did not submit its National Action Plan for supporting renewable energy use to Brussels. The original deadline for handing in the plan was 30th June 2010. However, the European commissioner for energy Gunther Oettinger gave the member states three more months, but Bratislava was not even able to meet this deadline. The Slovak government reasoned it delay with the changes in the government and inter-resort public consultations. The European Commission will now take a legal action against Slovakia and five more member states.
Friday – 1st October 2010
The distribution company ZSE – distribúcia demands from the regulator to increase price for electricity distribution in 2011. The Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO) will decide about this case withing the upcoming 30 days. ZSE – distribúcia works in western Slovakia.
Slovak trade and industry chamber (SOPK) is against approving the tax for the National nuclear fund that was proposed by the Ministry of Economy and Construction. The tax should come into force from January 2011. According to SOPK this step would harm business in Slovakia
European Union and World
Monday – 27th September
Czech republic has canceled the five years of tax holidays for the investors in the photo-voltaic industry. The measure will also affect the solar power plants that are already connected to the grid. The government also unified the taxation charge for solar technologies. By introducing the new laws, the Czech government wants to pour 1 bill. CZK in the state budget.
Russia wants to satisfy the rapidly growing demand for natural gas in China. The delegation led by the Russian President Dmitrij Medvedev and vice-chairman of the government Igor Secin discussed in Beijing the possibilities of deepening the cooperation between the two countries. The new agreement on natural gas supplies between Russia and China could be signed already in the first half of 2011.
The construction of the natural gas pipeline North Stream is moving forward in line with the original time line. The construction works in the German waters are even four weeks ahead of the plan. The natural gas should start flowing via the pipeline already at the end of next year. In 2012 the second branch of the pipeline should be finished also.
Tuesday – 28th Septembe
The European Union is considering to apply the mandatory labeling of the energy class for electricity alliances also on televisions. The European Commission came with the proposal after the finding that approximately 10 % of the electricity bills for households comes from watching TV. The energy label should according to the proposal be visible not only on the TV itself, but also in advertisements, catalogs and TV spots.
The Uranium mine Rožná in Czech Republic will remain opened until 2013. The uranium extraction is still profiting and within the meantime new uranium fields were also found. Rožná is tha last uranium mine in the whole area of Central Europe.
Russian developer RusHydro want to invest into renewable energy development in Kazakhstan. On the basis of an agreement between the local government the company plans to build hydro-power stations and wind energy parks.
Venezuela is taking into consideration the possibility of using nuclear energy. President Hugo Chavez firmly denounced that his country is interested in developing nuclear weapons.
Wednesday – 29th September
The Czech trade inspection will start to publish the names of traders who sell diluted engine fuels as of January 2011. Until now, the inspection only had the right to fine the traders without the option of publishing their names.
The reform of the energy sector will be one of the main priorities of the USA in 2011 according to President Barack Obama. One of the main aim of his country will be to lower its dependency on fossil fuels and a further step in fighting against climate change.
From 2011 Russia will enable hydrocarbon extraction also to foreign companies. Currently only two Russian companies have permission for extraction in the seas: Gazprom and Rosneft.
Thursday – 30th September
The European Commission has started to investigate the Czech company ČEZ in relation to blocking the access of other companies to the Czech market with electricity.
The Energy regulatory office (ERU) of Czech Republic published the official prognosis on the rise of prices for electricity in 2011. Prices for the households should go up by 12.7 % and 18. % for companies.
Friday – 1st October
Belarus will have to pay more for Russian natural gas in 2011. Mins expects that the prices should rise by 14 %. According to Russian Gazprom, it might be possible that the prices will go up even further.