The war unleashed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the COP27 Conference in November create a global framework through which the year 2022 establishes – after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic – new frontiers in the complexity of the energy transition. This is a complexity that can only be reduced in one way: by descriptive stating that the energy transition has already become the main front in the war for a new global systemic order.
On this front, the social market economy – the core of which is the Enlightenment order of the Euro-Atlantic zone (i.e. democracy and the market) – has to confront the superpower of Russia and China and generally the autocratic-oligarchic systemic order, in particular the world of fossil fuels and the large-scale energy industry (in Polish referred to as ‘WEK’).
Thus, the electroprosumerisation of the world must protect it from a repeat of the scenario which happened after World War II. At that time, it was a scenario that included the Cold War, primarily in the form of a nuclear arms race, with a “civilian” arm in the form of an investment race in nuclear energy.
The credibility of the analysis of the (very simplified) role of the energy transition in geopolitics presented in the PPTE2050 Bulletin No. 2 (6) in the August edition of “Energetyka” (8/2022) was (and still is) painfully verified by the course of events. It is becoming apparent that not only autocratic countries with fossil fuel resources pose a threat to the Enlightenment order. The political and corporate pathology feeding on fossil fuels and the WEK energy business model in the Euro-Atlantic zone itself is also dangerous. Just as dangerous (for the Euro-Atlantic zone) is the lack of social resistance to cognitive errors of the WEK power industry (in other words: dangerous are insufficient social skills needed to free societies from these errors).
At this point, it is necessary to refer to the COP27 Conference. Its result is a joint declaration adopted by over 200 countries. The declaration provides for creation of a ‘loss and damage’ fund. Its purpose is to help developing countries to cover the costs of climate damages not caused by them. The fund will be financed by various sources, including taxes on fossil fuels; but this will only happen in the future, after the rules of its creation and use are developed in 2023. Just as OECD countries could not immediately switch to a new ‘Marshall’ plan, this time in the form of electroprosumerisation, needed both by the OECD zone and the ‘excluded’ world (especially the 15 percent of people without access to electricity). Electroprosumerisation, which the OECD zone needs in order to build its own global competitive advantage over China. The excluded world, on the other hand, needs it to build its own electroprosumeric resilience and to start building its coalition-forming capacity with the OECD zone.
Parallel to indecisive actions to stimulate the development of the ‘excluded’ world by means of electroprosumerisation, the COP27 conference became a place for the political and corporate WEK energy alliance to soften its position on the definitive phase-out of fossil fuels in the horizon of 2050. Among other things, by means of the carbon capture storage (CCS) policy, i.e. preserving the political and corporate pathology and turning the energy transition into a farce.
Against this backdrop, the energy situation in Poland becomes critical. It can be hypothesized that what happened in October and November (2022) was an irreversible confrontation between the political and corporate establishment of the WEK energy sector and rationality. It is a confrontation that begs the following question: which side does Poland want to be on? On the side of electroprosumerisation of the country and the social market economy or on the side of the autocratic-oligarchic triplet. The one consisting of the political and corporate program to build nuclear power industry dominating the entire Polish energy sector (Polish Nuclear Power Program), the political and corporate Charter for the Efficient Transformation of Poland’s Power Distribution Networks (signed by the Energy Regulatory Office, five DSO operators, four ministries and the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure), and finally the political-corporate PKN Orlen (which annihilated Lotos and absorbed PGNiG). It is evident that there was a confrontation with rationality and it manifests in particular in the fact that, on the one hand, each of the three plans is very harmful and, on the other, practically unrealizable.
What is rational, however, is the bottom-up electroprosumerisation of Poland, i.e. building of electroprosumeric crisis resilience. This is directly confirmed by various articles published in Biuletyn Rynki Elektroprosumeryzmu (Electroprosumerism Markets Bulletin), which we submit to the readers’ judgment. Undoubtedly, the case study Energo-Complex (article no. 4 of the Bulletin) is of crucial importance in this respect.
Also, in addition, the comprehensive concept of the TETIPE transformation in the part concerning emerging energy markets, especially in terms of fundamentals (energy balances), but also economic heuristics, is being verified more and more positively on new and very diverse paths [see the first article of the Bulletin].
However, the most necessary (desirable) – in the case of Poland – is the full implementation of the TETIPE transformation. That is, a transformation that ensures the market balance of the emerging (bottom-up) electroprosumerism markets and the rational use of the existing, already redundant generation resources of the WEK power industry throughout the transformation trajectory, i.e. over three decades. Definitely redundant, if we take into account that the power sector of WEK (mainly power industry) has more than 10 GW of installed capacity in new hard coal- and lignite-fired units as well as in gas-fired ones (only three of these units were commissioned before 2017, namely in 2008, 2009 and 2014). This means that the service life of the units has been depleted so far by only a few percent and with a very high probability, bordering on certainty, these units will never be used for more than the half of it. And this means that Poland will incur huge stranded costs after completion of generation investments, in the order of (20-30) billions of PLN (in pre-inflation fixed prices).
Thus, in order to prevent incomparably higher stranded costs (potentially amounting to several hundred billion PLN) and, even more importantly, to prevent exclusion from the desired transformation trend (the TETIPE transformation would fit in this trend), Poland needs to immediately finalise the Social Contract (Agreement) for the entire three decades to come. The subject of this Contract must be the legal doctrine of the Energy Transition Code. The Code centered around the Electricity Act. And at the center of the Electricity Act there must be placed the principle of sharing of the Polish power system (KSE) resources.
English version: Jacek Dubrawski, Grzegorz Popczyk