Ljubljana – The crisis situation in Ukraine is bringing uncertainty into the operations of all business entities and deepening the crisis due to high energy prices, the strategic council for energy transition at Slovenia’s Chamber of Commerce (GZS) said on Tuesday, adding that there was no energy deficiency yet, but prices were highly volatile.
GZS head Aleš Cantarutti said that the current tense geopolitical situation in Europe had only deepened the energy crisis, as energy price hikes were also being translated into high transport prices and limited access to raw materials.
He added that Slovenia’s latest energy crisis relief legislative package was “a plaster on the wound,” but “energy price hikes since September last year are much higher than the aid foreseen, which does not take into account the damage actually suffered by companies”.
Industry representatives pointed out that their strategic plans were geared towards decarbonisation, increasing energy efficiency and self-sufficiency, but that in such an extremely volatile environment, they are being forced to make very short-term decisions.
Slovenian companies are already deciding on a daily basis whether to operate at full or reduced capacity, or even to temporarily halt production because of increasing costs, they added.
The GZS’s strategic council for energy transition also expects the government to follow EU directions to tackle the energy crisis and respond immediately with additional measures and support for the economy.
They expressed support to changes to the model of forming electricity prices to reduce dependence on gas prices, which have been pushing electricity prices up.
In the long term, the GZS wishes for the construction of facilities for renewable energy sources to be considered “public interest”, as building such facilities has been a big problem in Slovenia.
As regards the measure to exempt all consumers from the payment of network fee, the participants of Tuesday’s meeting highlighted the liquidity issues on the distribution side and expressed concerns about the stagnation of planned investments in electricity networks.
Meanwhile, the strategic council and Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Blaž Košorok expressed satisfaction about Slovenia being a member of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), which ensures a safe and secure energy supply.
They also discussed the impact of the planned integration of Ukraine’s electricity system into the EU system. They assessed that such an operation entails certain technical, communicational and economic risks, as the country is currently at war and the infrastructure is damaged.