Slovakia is harmonizing the rules of energy taxation with the EU laws
Slovakia is harmonizing the rules
of energy taxation with the EU
The Slovak government has voted in favor of canceling the exceptions from consumption taxes on natural gas and coal for heat production for households. The taxation allowance will be also cancelled for engine fuels such as LPG, CNG and the so called red diesel. The government of Iveta Radičová has voted for the amendment to the law on consumption taxes for electricity, coal and natural gas on the 22nd September.
Canceling the taxation allowance for coal and gas for heat production as well as CNG was an obligation set by the European legislative. Furthermore, the amendment also creates additional incomes for the next years´ state budget. In 2011 the government plans to collect approximately 100 million euro and this number should steadily rise in the next years.
The government also gave a yes to the amendment to the law on consumption taxes from mineral oils. This will affect the so called red diesel which is used in the agricultural sector and LPG. The red diesel is characteristic by its red color addition which makes it easy to recognize from ordinary diesel used in other than engines of agricultural vehicles.
The proposed amendment also changes the system of taxation allowance of engine fuels that include a biogenic element. The current system of 122 taxation exceptions will be replaced by one so called environmental rule: only those engine fuels that have include a biogenic element will have a tax allowance, whereas the minimum will be set for each year individually.
According to Minister of Economy, Ivan Mikloš, repealing the exception from consumption taxes for selected engine fuels and for energy sources for heat production for household will not have an effect on electricity prices.
However the new rules will definitely create pressure on prices for heat, but at the same time will positively affect the motivation of customers to save on energy bills according to Peter Marèan, analyst from the Institute for energy security (ESI).
The amendment now needs to be approved by the parliament. If the MP´s give it a green light, the consumption taxes will change on 1st January 2011.
Week in Slovakia
Tuesday – 21st September 2010
The company Slovak gas industry (SPP) reportedly threatens Slovakia by an international arbitration. The reason should be the disproportionate interventions in the price policy of the company by the state. SPP claims that the law approved in 2008 has caused and is causing them losses of millions euro. According to the law the state can put a veto on the proposal for increasing prices during the assembly meeting of the company.
The company RWE Gas Slovakia does not plan to increase prices of natural gas this year. According to the administrator of the company Miroslav Kulla, the decision about price changes valid for 2011 will be taken next month. RWE Gas Slovakia is currently the biggest competitor of SPP. The company owns approximately 15% of share at the Slovak natural gas market.
The functioning of the company Teplárne Košice will not change. The current leadership will not come up to the changes of the status of the distribution link – Tepelné Hospodárstvo. The price for heat for 2011 is currently unknown; however it depends on prices for gas and coal set for next year
Wednesday – 22nd September 2010
The Slovak government has decided to cancel the exception from consumption taxes for natural gas and coal used for heat generation for households. Furthermore motor fuels such as LPG, CNG and the so called red diesel will also loose their tax allowance.
Thursday – 23rd September 2010
The Organizer of the short-term market with electricity (OKTE, a.s.) will start its function on 1st January 2011. OKTE will be responsible for coordinating the spot market with electricity in line with the third liberalization package from the European Union.
Canceling tax exemptions for selected motor fuels and energy carriers does not have to lead to a change in electricity prices according to the Minister of Finances Ivan Mikloš.
Friday – 24th September
3 billion euro is missing in the National fund for nuclear energy of SR, whereas the money is necessary for putting out of service nuclear reactors and disposing burned fuel. The information was provided by Peter Mihók from the Matej Bell University in Banská Bystrica during an expert seminar in Bratislava. Slovak power plant company Slovensské elektrárne (SE) refuse that the deficit in the und was caused by the low tax payments of the company. According to SE, it was the state that did not fulfill its obligations when it came to paying taxes.
European Union and World
Monday – 20th September 2010
The European Commission (EC) has started to investigate the secret agreement between three energy companies ČEZ, J&T and EnBW Energie due to changing their stakes at the market in Czech Republic. The EC will deal with the case of splitting the Czech shares in the British company International Power. Two companies, ČEZ and J&T refuse that their acting was against the rules of economic competition.
Polish industry might face a shortage of natural gas in October. However, a gas crisis could be turned off by signing a deal with Russian Federation on long-term supplies of natural gas to Poland. Both of the sides have already agreed on the conditions, but the deal can not be signed due to an ongoing investigation by the European Commission. The EC is currently investigating whether the proposed contract is in line with the European legislation.
The final operation of the company BP to close the damaged well Macondo in the Mexican Gulf was successful. American president Barack Obama has welcomed the news and called on to solve the consequences of the ecological catastrophe.
Russia wants to cooperate with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Prime Minister Vladimir Putin did no specify what kind of cooperation Russia has in mind. At the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008 Moscow acted exactly opposite as OPEC, which limited oil production in favor of rising the price of the commodity on the world markets. Moscow on the other hand increased its production. Russia is the biggest oil producer in the world.
Tuesday – 21st September 2010
The European Commission (EC) will gain new authority while dealing with consequences of a gas crisis. The decision was taken by the European Parliament. EC will determine who and how much gas will the respective country receive in case that a natural gas supply crisis occurs in the EU. Member states will also take on new responsibilities such as drawing up a preventive plan or securing reverse flow of natural gas.
According to a new study from the US, it is possible that we might use more light despite buying energy efficient light bulbs. The study argues that by using modern light bulbs and LED light bulbs the overall electricity consumption might increase, not the opposite. The study is based on a theory that was introduced by an English economist Wiliam Jevons from the 19th century.
China is tightening up standards for energy efficiency. The Chinese planning commission has announced that all new factories will have to pass a complex energy audit starting off on 1st November 2010. The audit will decide whether the factories will be granted permission for their functioning or not. China admits that the progress in developing energy efficient measures is slow According to the World Bank; China needs twice more energy for one unit production if compared to USA, Japan or other developed countries.
Wednesday – 22nd September 2010
German energy company E-On is increasing its incomes from renewable energy sources. The operating profit of the renewable energy division might increase by more than 70% in this year. In 2009 revenues of the company in the renewable energy field was 146 million euro.
Poland will wait with the privatization of the state energy company Enea. The Ministry of State Treasury will give the investors more time for handing in their deals. Currently there are 5 subjects interested in the 51% share of the Polish company, including Slovak power plants – Enel or the Spanish company Iberdola. By privatizing the company Poland wants to obtain finances for the state budget.
According to the estimations of ČEZ, price for electricity in Czech Republic will increase by 18 % in 2011. The prognosis calculates that the total installed capacity of solar power plants will reach 2 thousand MW.
A new refinery with a processing capacity of 13 million tons of oil per year will be constructed in China. Russian and China will become the shareholders in the joint company via two state companies China National Petroleum Corp and Rosneft. Russian Federation will supply the refinery with more than 70 % of oil. The refinery should be put into operation in 2015.
According to the Minister for natural resources, Russia own rich stocks of oil and natural gas in the Arctic zone. The estimates count with more than 100 billion tons of carbohydrates. The Arctic fields should hold more than one quarter of all the undiscovered reserves of carbohydrates of the world. Norway, Denmark, USA and Canada are thus also interested in ownership of various areas.
Thursday – 23rd September 2010
The biggest wind energy park with a total installed capacity of 300 MW was put into operation in Great Britain. The park is run by the Swedish energy company Vattenfall.
The Regulatory Office of Czech Republic has also joined the debate about the increasing prices for electricity. According to an estimation of the chairman of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) the price for electricity in the upcoming year will rise by 12 or 14 %.
Russia will construct a new nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Russian supplier TVEL has won an international competition for constructing the plant and defeated the American company Westinghouse. The nuclear power plant should be put into operation until 2013.
Friday – 24th September
The Czech Ministry of Industry and Environment published its assessment about the price rise for electricity from 1st January 2011. The higher prices are likely to be caused by the photovoltaic power plants. According to the ministry there are three existing variants for the prices. The most likely to happen is that the price will rise by 8 %. In this case the total installed capacity of the solar power plants should reach 1.600 MW at the end of this year.
Europe has sufficient sources of unconventional natural gas according to an expert. If the countries start to take advantage of it, shale natural gas could change the geopolitical balance and compete with supplies from Russia. Nearly all countries in western and central Europe have the potential to extract natural gas from shale geological formations.
4,4 million of barrels of oil leaked into the Mexican Gulf after the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil field. The estimation came from a group of experts from the Columbia University. It is the first independent estimation of this kind and it covers the period between 20th April and 15th July.
Ukraine might become a member of the European Energy Community. After the ratification process in the Ukrainian parliament, Kyiv will have to comply with the same legislative norms as the EU in the field of energy, including also market liberalization and unbundling of the company Naftogaz.
The agreement between Poland and Russia concerning the natural gas supplies is still vast. The deal was not signed despite of the moderate progress in the talks. The talks should resume again in October. The outstanding hurdle for signing the new agreement are the objections from the European commission.