Previewing Montel's CEE Energy Day, 24th November 2021
Next week on Wednesday 24th November, Montel Group will turn its gaze to Central Eastern Europe for the CEE Energy Day. On the cards is an afternoon of free to attend webinars covering price drivers in the region, with a particular focus on the 5th largest consumer in the EU, Poland. Ahead of the session, we spoke to some of the speakers to get an advance preview of the themes and ideas they'll be looking to discuss.
Central Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia) accounts for around a fifth of the EU's electricity consumption. It includes the EU's fifth largest consumer, Poland, which is also the trading bloc's largest coal producer.
In recent years the CEE region has been shaking off its historical image as an area dominated by heavy industry, coal and gas - the percentage of solar power in Poland's generation mix jumped from nothing to nearly 5% in just three years - at the same time as markets in the region have become more transparent. These trends seems unlikely to reverse, in spite of the Polish government's U-turn on a coal phase-out by 2030 at this month's COP26.
For this year's CEE Energy Day on Wednesday 24th November, from 14.00 to 16.30 we'll host five individual webinars: covering everything from the future of Polish coal to the looming spectre of a geopolitical gas crisis with Russia and the future of automated trading in the region.
Registration and attendance is entirely free, and you can find the full program here.
Register for the CEE Energy Day Webinar now
If you need more encouragement to sign up, we spoke to three of the speakers to get some insight on what they'll be presenting.
Coal's last stand
In 2020 the share of coal in electricity generation in Poland fell below 70%, for a first time ever. The country is still addicted to hard coal and lignite, and the decision on their phase-out has not yet been taken yet. However, there are many reasons to advocate for the retirement of coal-fired capacity, and sooner rather than later. And this creates a different context for energy diversification and security of supply. If Poland doesn't want to be Europe’s last bastion of the dirty fuel, it has to have a credible plan for filling in the generation gap. So where is the country in terms of an energy transition? What will be needed to ensure coal is withdrawn from the generation mix? What can we expect in the next decade?
The looming Russian stand-off
The decision yesterday of the German regulator BNA to suspend the Nord Stream 2 certification process is the latest blow in an evolving conflict that has seen the pipeline become a flashpoint for the geopolitical issues surrounding European imports of Russian gas, which have dropped significantly this year, leading to fears of a supply crisis. While it's tempting to see this drop as a geopolitical strategy, the increase in Russian domestic demand has also played a role - although the country has been 'overfilling' its own gas storage, perhaps anticipating a harsher than usual winter. The future of Nord Stream 2 is not really in doubt despite the latest setbacks - at some point it will come on-line. Longer term, the new Green Deal and the EU's relationship with Ukraine will shape the relationship between the bloc and it's largest supplier of natural gas.
Understanding the Polish power market
The Polish power market, like much of Europe, has experienced heightened volatility during 2021. But in contrast to many other countries, recent months have seen the country record some of the cheapest wholesale prices in the whole of Europe. What's the story behind this development? Is volatility here to stay? Looking further into the future, the Polish energy sector is clearly undergoing a transformation with increased development of renewable energy, and especially solar. What further changes might be forthcoming, and what can the market expect? Poland is also shifting from a net importer to a net exporter of power, which is occurring alongside more integrated regional markets, especially with the Baltic states. What will this mean for the country's energy future?
The CEE Energy Day will take place online on Wednesday 24th November from 14.00 - 16.30.
Explore the full programme and register for free now