Three questions to Alexander Duleba
Alexander Duleba is the director of the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, an independent foreign-policy think tank based in Bratislava (Slovakia).
The Centre has organised an annual energy conference since 2007. Originally a national forum, this has evolved into the Central European Energy Conference (CEEC), which focuses on energy cooperation within this region. In 2016, CEEC also took place jointly with the SET Plan 2016 conference, as part of the official programme of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council.
What does sustainable energy mean to you?
Sustainable energy means many things:
- a better quality of life, which includes access to safe energy at affordable prices as well as a healthier environment;
- a driver for modernisation of our societies;
- a field that widens R&I’s scope and the development of advanced technologies, changing our economic productivity and the way we consume;
- more solidarity and cooperation between the EU Member States — there are no national solutions to any single state’s energy security but there are common solutions for them all together;
- the end of an “oil era”, bringing more peace to international relations as this end undermines authoritarian regimes dependent on oil and gas exports.
What are the trends that we should look out for in sustainable energy? And what impacts do they have on what you’re doing now or in the future?
The main challenge is in the field of regulatory policy. In many EU countries the share of the regulated segment in the electricity price structure is higher than the market one.
As a result, it creates a window of opportunity for government investments, especially in the use of renewables and energy efficiency measures. On the other hand, it undermines private and market driven investments into the energy sector.
The question is about the sustainability of the current regulatory regime, including its impacts on generation capacity and energy infrastructure in the long-term. We need to put the development of sustainable energy on a market basis.
Do you plan to attend EUSEW this year, and if so what do you hope to get out of?
I plan to attend the EUSEW Policy Conference. I’m looking forward to making contacts and networking with participants as well as to learning about where we are in the EU on energy policy thinking and planning.