In its fifth year of existence, the Energy Committee already has several
successful initiatives on its record. It has also managed to establish
cooperation with the Ministry of Economy. More information about the
committee’s activities as well as future plans is provided in this short
interview with its Chair, Milan Veselý of Slovalco.
What led to the creation of the Energy Committee and what are its major achievements over the past few years?
The Committee was officially established in 2011, and from the very beginning, it has been addressing strategic and conceptual issues affecting the energy sector in Slovakia. The Committee has been very successful in voicing industry concerns to the key stakeholders in the Slovak government. We aim to be constructive partners who always call for a predictable and transparent regulatory framework and a consistent economic policy, which would also determine a stable and realistic energy policy. Over the years, we have developed a working relationship with the Ministry of Economy. One example of constructive cooperation was the transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive. We created a special working group which was closely collaborating with the team at the Ministry of Economy during the process of drafting the new Energy Efficiency Act. In the end, we managed to avert some measures which would have had a negative impact on the market. Another big initiative of the Committee addresses electricity prices in Slovakia which are much higher than in other EU member states. This has a very negative impact on the energy intensive manufacturing industry, but also on the IT industry, especially companies that have data centers in Slovakia.
What are currently the main issues and concerns addressed by the Energy Committee?
The Committee still calls for conceptual frameworks and comprehensive strategy for Energy Policy and Energy Security of Slovak Republic. At the same time, we strongly believe it is necessary to lead a thorough and transparent consultation process with all of the relevant market participants on the framework for regulatory policy. Even though the Government indicated that it will propose solutions for lowering electricity prices for industry in Slovakia, this still hasn’t happened. We will therefore continue to lead dialogue and urge for a systematic solution.
What are the main goals that the Energy Committee hopes to reach in the near future?
The current debate is greatly influenced by the Energy Union proposal introduced by the European Commission. We are proud that we were able to have one of the first debates with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, in November last year, and discuss the Commission priorities with him at the time. The scope of the Energy Union will shape the debate for the months to come, and we definitely want to be a part of the discussions.