Tomaž Orešič
energetski blog / energy blog

Unexpected market distortions and the effect on investments

This year’s one of the most significant events in the industry in the SE region is getting closer, the Energija07 event in Maribor, Slovenia. We are facing the melting pot of all possible external factors, uncertainties and even surprises. The rising oil price is, according to major supplier’s executives, being driven by speculations rather than the by the lack of supply. On the other hand, that same oil price is more influential as an incentive for the future generation investments as the whole emission trading scheme. This way we could easily conclude that our future security of supply is a matter of speculations. Unfortunately this might be true in some portion however there are much more tangible reasons for our concerns on future security.

The topic of billions and billions of planned investments in the new generation capacities in the region as well as in the whole Europe sounds quite comfortable for the future security and for the future competitiveness of our planned single European market.

First question is who will execute all those investments. Where is Europe as such get enough engineers and equipment producers for the planned investment cycle in the decent time frame? From this point of view we should not be overoptimistic over the communicated future projects.

Second point is European single energy market as a main goal of the present as well as the proposed energy legislation. The current actions by some of the member states are giving the whole opposite signals for the mentioned main goal. The introduced export fees are causing distortion in the regional market, giving the market wrong price signals thus the unclear investment incentives. The procedure might be transparent from the national point of view; on the other hand it brings instability to the whole market design. Introduction of such measures a week before the auction brings uncertainty, unpredictability and price distortion to the industry, which seemed to be developing in the right direction a week ago. How will the investors be able to plan long term investment when each member state will be able to introduce some unexpected short term national level measure?As I said, European energy sector needs predictable, transparent, stable environment, a well functioning single European market. We can just hope that the energy policy will be introduced properly and effectively on each national market, without exception and with the only common goal – security of supply, sustainability and real competition.

Tomaz Oresic