5 Qs with Energetika.NET
With increasing numbers of countries committing to playing their role in the green transition and setting decarbonisation targets, Tanja Srnovrsnik, Editor-in-Chief at Energetika.NET, discusses the news portal covering market developments in the Balkans.
This blogpost is authored by a member of Montel's content marketing team.
How did Montel Energetika.NET begin?
The Slovenian portal Energetika.NET (EN.NET) was established in 2002 by, what was at that time, an energy management company which was aware that the energy markets were going to change drastically due to the on-going market privatisation in the EU, wherein all EU member states energy markets were to be liberalised.
As a result, the portal Energetika.NET was developed, initially with only one item of news per day written and published. EN.NET’s mission at the time was to provide energy-intensive industry, energy companies and utilities with timely information on market developments.
At that time, the energy market in Slovenia was still monopolised, meaning that EN.NET’s news coverage was limited, albeit available free of charge. Later, when market developments furthered and EN.NET’s readership grew, the portal transformed its model to a subscription-based format. As the market evolved, EN.NET started to expand its editorial content, cover an increasing number of events, and organise our own energy events, supporting the flow of market information and thus market development itself.
Through this time, our team has retained close ties with people from the energy sector, leading to more and more direct information being obtained, boosting EN.NET’s credibility and trustworthiness in turn.
Why does the service cover such a specific region?
Since 2009, EN.NET has not only covered Slovenia, but the regional energy markets too. South East European (SEE) is a region of 41 million people and, despite the fact that Slovenia is officially a part of Central Europe, it was once a part of Yugoslavia - of which a large percentage of the other countries in the SEE region were also a part.
This makes it easier for the EN.NET team to speak to local energy experts and establish strong connections to the local energy markets. However, since there are so many languages spoken within the region, the new portal (www.energetika.net/see) was set up in English to make it accessible to such a diverse readership.
Since the energy sector is interconnected overall, the English language is not a barrier, on the contrary – it connects people in the region even more strongly. This is also the case for EN.NET’s regional energy trading events, through which its media has supported (and still does) regional development in the energy markets.
When covering the region, we focus mostly on themes relating to the energy transition – coal phase-outs, future plans in the area of adding new capacities (especially renewables), the role of gas in this transition, barriers to adding new capacities, market liberalisation (with the exception of Serbia, the Western Balkan countries do not yet have organised markets – power exchanges), etc.
As a consequence, most of the local energy utilities already have Energetika.NET subscriptions, alongside the numerous international companies and organisations that are either interested, or are already present, in the region. EN.NET’s actuality, promptness, credibility and commitment means that our number of international subscribers is rapidly growing too. The latter can also be partly contributed to Montel’s engagement as a partner and co-owner since 2012.
Developments in the SEE region are becoming particularly exciting as these countries look to play their role in the energy transition. While the region has been stuck on coal... things are starting to change."
What has helped to keep the platform so relevant over nearly 20 years?
The latest addition to EN.NET’s range of news items is video content – both interviews and energy debates in English and Slovenian are available free of charge at www.energetika.net/en-tv. The whole team is delighted to be the first energy-related media to conduct a lot of the activities it does in Slovenia and the SEE region. Our articles are also now in line with Montel’s style, making them equally suitable for energy readership from throughout Europe.
What is the most surprising story you’ve worked on?
We’ve covered a wide range of stories from the region over the years, but we have even reported stories directly from Chernobyl! This is particularly interesting given the number of nuclear power plants in the region (Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria) alongside upcoming plans for new reactors too.
What does the future look like?
Developments in the SEE region are becoming particularly exciting as these countries look to play their role in the energy transition. While the region has been stuck on coal (e.g. Serbia produces 70-80% of its electricity from coal, and it is similar in a lot of other countries in the region) things are starting to change.
Serbia has announced that it has stopped its planned new Kolubara B coal unit; countries are changing their legislation and introducing renewables auctions and GOs etc; there is increasing interest in building new solar and wind in the region; and even talk of introducing carbon pricing (in addition to some utilities announcing they will introduce their own internal carbon pricing).
One thing is for sure – these markets never stop changing! And having been there since the start, Energetika.NET will remain a constant, continuing to bring market developments to all those interested in the region’s energy industries.