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Slovakia (2012)

Source: REEEP Policy Database (contributed by SERN for REEEP)

This policy & regulatory overview is not updated anymore since 2015. We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.

Energy sources

Total installed electricity capacity (2008): 7,453 MW
- Thermal: 36.4% (2,714 MW)
- Hydro-electric: 33.2% (2,478 MW)
- Nuclear: 29.5% (2,200 MW)
- Other RES: 0.8% (61 MW). 

The energy reserves in the Slovak Republic are low except for lignite which is produced more and more expensively due to increasing costs .

As one of the transition economy countries Slovakia shows the typical fall in energy consumption (due mainly to industrial restructuring) connected with the transition process.

Primary energy demand 2009: 783 PJ
Nuclear energy: 24.8%
Hydropower: 2%
Coal 22.7%
Oil 19.4%
Gas: 28.5%
Biomass: 2.6%

Share of total primary energy supply 2009 (IEA)*: 17 Mtoe
Coal and peat: 23.3%
Oil: 20%
Natural gas: 26.6%
Nuclear: 22.4%
Hydro: 2.3%
Biofuels and waste: 5.3%
Geothermal solar and wind: 0.1%


*Share of TPES excludes electricity trade
 

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Reliance

Slovakia is heavily dependent on oil and gas imports.
 
The share of net energy imports in total primary supply (TPES) was 67% in 2007.  A large percentage of imports are natural gas and oil from the Russian Federation.

Slovakia is expected to remain dependent on Russian gas for its supply and a new 10 year supply agreement has been signed with Gazprom. The majority of the gas received will continue to act as payment for transit fees.

The imports/exports balance by energy source in 2009 was as follows (all units ktoe):
Solid Fuel: 3238.8 / 164.1
Oil and Products: 1252.3/ 3839.7
Natural Gas: 6001.3/ 691.2
Electricity: 715.7/ 659.4
Crude oil: 5785.6/ 131.1
Biomass: 47.9/ 51.9
 

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Extend network

National electrification rate (2007): 98 %

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Capacity concerns

The gas crisis in early 2009 was an unprecedented situation which saw supplies of Russian gas intended for Slovakia, transmitted via Ukraine, come to a complete standstill for several days. During this period of crisis, the heat sector’s high dependence on natural gas highlighted the vulnerability of heat supply security. Slovakia’s reserves of individual energy sources indicate that only RES (especially biomass) can play a role in reducing overall dependence on natural gas imports.
 

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Renewable energy

According to the Ministry of Economics the technical usable potential of all renewable energy sources in the Slovak Republic amounts to 202,9 PJ. Hydro energy remains currently the major RES used.

Hydro-electric power
The installed capacity of hydroelectric plants is 2,395 MW, representing 28.9 % of the total installed capacity of Slovakia´s electric grid. The Váh River valley accounts for 47, 6 % of the hydroelectric power potential. Currently there are more than 20 hydroelectric power plants on the Váh River, amounting to 1,600 MWe. The Cierny Váh pumped storage plant in the Váh basin has for example a capacity of 735 MWe. A run of the river plant with another 720 MWe installed capacity is operating on a canal parallel to the Danube River.

There are currently approx. 180 small hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of more than 60 MW in operation in Slovakia. In the frame of the programme of the development of hydroelectric power plants, there are overall 250 locations which have been selected as the building sites for small hydropower plants on the rivers Danube, Váh, Hron, Bodrog and Hornád which could bring total installed capacity of 93 MW. From among the most significant construction projects there is the Sered hydropower plant (52 MW), and small hydropower plants on the rivers Hron, Horný Váh and Poprad.

Biomass energy
Alongside hydropower biomass represents the largest potential renewable energy supply. As already mentioned, the technical viable potential of biomass utilization corresponds with some 120 PJ. Currently only 2 % of primary energy sources are biomass.
Biomass resources available in the Slovak Republic include:

  • forest biomass
  • agricultural biomass
  • wood working industry residues
  • municipal waste

Forest biomass is already used extensively for energy production, nevertheless it is estimated that only 10 % of the resources useable are being exploited.

Development objectives to increase the share of biomass in electricity and heat production include combined combustion of coal and wood chips, gasification of wood in thermal power plants, the use of biogas in smaller power plants and the enhanced use of agricultural and forestry biomass.

Wind energy
The wind energy potential in the Slovak Republic is relatively low, making up 2.7 % of the total renewable energy potential in Slovakia. At present there are just five wind power stations with nine turbines and an installed capacity of 5.14 MW. Under the current conditions, electricity production from wind energy is expected to reach 200 GWh by 2010.

Projects on the drawing board
Slovakia's Ministry of Environment has up until the end of 2007 several major wind power projects commissioned, most of which are situated in the West of the country. One of the biggest projects is a Austro-Slovakian venture, namely by Energo-Wind. The company wants to construct 20 to 44 wind power stations to a value of up to EUR 115 million in towns close to the southern stretch of the Slovakian-Czech border. These stations are scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2008.


Geothermal energy
Geothermal waters in the Slovak Republic are being utilized on 35 locations providing capacity of 75 MW to heat buildings, swimming pools, greenhouses. The country has good conditions for developing and using energy from thermal water.

Solar Energy
The Slovak Republic is situated between 48 and 50 degree latitude. Solar radiation flux achieves maximum 1,050 kWh/m2, so that a half of year its values are 806 kWh/m2. However due to its costs the use of solar energy for electricity production is inefficient at present.

Potential for applying solar energy technologies can be seen in the areas of passive solar heating systems, especially in public buildings. Photovoltaic technology could be an option for regions that have no electricity supply. As the electricity grid currently covers 98 % of the Slovak Republic, it concerns the remaining 2 %.
 

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Energy efficiency

The energy intensity of Slovakia's economy is still 1.9 times higher than the EU average, due to a the prominent role of industry in GDP, but this difference is gradually decreasing due to structural changes and increases in energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency measures are particularly applicable to the residential sector, where the majority of consumed energy is used for heating, with buildings being in general poorly insulated.

The importance of energy efficiency in Slovakia is increasing alongside rising energy prices. Energy efficiency measures are not included in a single legislative act, but are included in a number of pieces of legislation on energy, including energy performance standards for buildings etc. 
 

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Ownership

Production

  • Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. (Slovak Electric, plc. abbr. SE, a.s.) is the major electricity producer . It is a joint stock company (The National Property Fund of the Slovak Republic owns 34 % and the company Enel Produzione SpA owns 66 % of SE shares).  It makes up 85% of Slovakia's annual electricity production.. SE has 5,739 MWe of gross capacity (December 31, 2011) in an ideal production mix of nuclear, hydro and thermal sources. It operates 34 hydroelectric, 2 nuclear, 2 thermoelectric and 2 photovoltaic plants .  SE is responsible also for the trade and sale of electricity. It also generates and distributes heat energy to regional suppliers. www.seas.sk

The remaining 15% of generation rests with two of three regional distribution utilities and other IPPs serving industrial customers .

  • TEKO, a.s. - a new independent combined heat and power plant company.
  • Nafta Gbely (http://www.nafta.sk/), which is 55.9% owned by the public company SPP (Slovensky Plynarensky Priemyse) and 40% by Westfälische Ferngas (WFG), a subsidiary company of RWE is the main oil and natural gas producer. It is also responsible for the storage of natural gas.


Transmission

  • Slovenská elektrizaèná prenosová sústava (SEPS, a.s. - Slovak National Grid plc., http://www.sepsas.sk/seps/en_index.asp)– is the independent operator of the power transmission system.
  • Transpetrol (http://www.transpetrol.sk/): in December 2001, the Russian company Yuko bought 49% of this 100% state-owned company. It is in charge of oil transport.
  • The public company SPP, Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel dealt with imports, transport and distribution of natural gas. As of 2006, transmission and distribution of natural gas had been legally unbundled. The main revenue stream of the country is gas transport fees.

 
Distribution

  • Three regional distribution utilities covering the whole territory of the Slovak Republic distribute electricity to end customers. All three were transformed from state owned enterprises into joint stock companies during 2001.
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Competition

Pursuant to the legislation that came into force on the 1st January 2005 all industrial customers became eligible customers while for households it was opened on July 2007.  Since January 2004, energy prices cover economically eligible costs and suitable profit of their producers and suppliers.  Prices do not contain any cross-subsidies among particular end-user categories.

Electricity distribution system had to be legally separate from generation or supply by July 2007.  Initial electricity market opening started in January 2002 with large consumers (over 100 GWh per year), which represent 31% of the market.  Consumers of over 40 GWh per year had a chance to choose a suppler since January 2003 and the same conditions were stated for consumers of up to 20 GWh since January 2004.
 

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Energy framework

One of the main priorities of Slovakia’s Energy Policy, approved in 2006, is to increase the share of RES in power and heat generation in order to create appropriate additional resources needed to cover domestic demand.

The Concept of Using Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in Slovakia approved in 2003 has created a base frame of development and promotion of using RES in all sectors in Slovakia.

The Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources 2002‐2012 adopted in 2002, detailed elaborated potential for development of RES and targets of RES policy.

The Report on Progress in the Development of Renewable Energy Including the Setting of National Targets for Using Renewable Energy Sources (2004) informs of using RES, their potential and barriers to additional utilizing. Report sets national indicative targets for production energy from RES.

In December 2010, the Slovak Parliament adopted an Amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Promotion Act. The previous legislation was not able to react to the decreasing prices of photovoltaic components due to regulation that stated that the tariff could not be decreased by more than 10% per year resulting in a boom in solar energy projects and leading to potential problems in the stability of the country’s transmission system. By means of legislative changes, the state is trying to regulate the construction of photovoltaic and wind energy facilities. Pursuant to the Amendment to the Act, effective as of 1 February 2011 (apart from some provisions effective as of 1 April 2011), only solar rooftop facilities or solar facilities on the exterior wall of buildings with capacity not exceeding 100kW are promoted in the form of additional payment on a feed-in tariff.

Under Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, the Slovak Republic is obliged to increase the share of electricity from renewables to 14% of total energy consumption in 2020. The latest reported share for 2008 was 8.4%. To comply with this ambitious commitment, and to manage duties under the respective Directives of the European Parliament and Council (Directive 2004/8/EC on the promotion of co-generation based on useful heat demand in the internal energy market, and Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market), the Slovak Parliament adopted the long-awaited Act No. 309/2009 Coll. on the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and High Efficiency Cogeneration Production (“RES Promotion Act”), which came into force as from 1 September 2009.  
Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) for the years 2008 – 2010.
 

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Energy debates

The Slovak Republic has started drafting its second NEEAP for years 2011-2013. Points outlined in the 2008-2010 NEEAP are gradually being carried out, namely the establishment of an energy efficiency monitoring system and preparation of secondary legislation for the Energy Efficiency Act. 

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Energy studies

Refer to. European Energy Review 2010: Slovakian Energy Law – Martin Nedelka, January 2010.Energy Law in Slovakia.

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Role of government

The Ministry of Economy (http://www.economy.gov.sk/index/index.php?lang=en) is responsible for policy-making, in the energy sector, and developing energy legislation. The Ministry of Economy is also the central body of state administration in charge of the state owned interests in the power industry.

The Ministry of Environment (MoE, http://www.enviro.gov.sk/)
- all international documents and national strategies on environmental protection are processed by the MoE. It is the main public contact point and authority responsible for providing information, policy-making, and legislation development in the field of the environment, including air pollution.

The State Energy Inspection Board (SEI) is a specialised agency engaged in the compliance and performance supervision with regards to act 70/1998.
 

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Government agencies

The Slovak Environmental Agency is managed by the Ministry of Environment. Its role is to fulfil technical tasks related to environmental protection (including, informative, educational, and promotional activities).
http://www.sazp.sk/

The Slovak Energy Agency (SEA) is the national energy agency in the Slovak Republic, established by the Ministry of Economy. SEA is an advisory body to the Ministry of Economy as well as to the Regulatory Office and it is involved in the creation of legal frameworks and its harmonisation with the EU. SEA participates in the development of local and regional policies and cooperates with other state administrative bodies on legal, economic and developmental instruments which support efficient and environmentally friendly use of energy.

The Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) – is the key implementing agency for the Energy Efficiency Action Plan and other energy efficiency activities. Since 2009, it has been responsible for the administration of the Government-approved
Programme for the Greater Household Use of Biomass and Solar Energy. In this context, it provides information on the conditions of support for the target group and the general public primarily through its website, press releases and media statements.
 

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Energy procedure

The Act No 309/2009 on the promotion of renewable energy and high efficiency cogeneration (“Act No 309/2009 on the promotion of RES”)   has improved the functioning of the electricity market in renewable energy and created a stable business environment. It has delivered a long-term guarantee of feed-in prices for 15 years and has guided the path followed in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources by encouraging the construction of small and decentralized facilities.

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Energy regulator

The Regulatory Office for Network Industries (RONI or URSO) is a Slovakian state administrative authority. It was created to meet the needs of the changing energy market in a unifying Europe. It was founded on August 1, 2001 with an independent budget and based in Bratislava.
http://www.urso.gov.sk/index_en.html

The Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO) is responsible for the technical and financial regulation of the energy sector.  It sets the calculation of energy prices for heat, gas and electricity generation, distribution and transmission (http://www.urso.gov.sk/sk/udaje-o-urade)
 

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Degree of independence

The Regulatory Council is the governing body of the Office. It is made up of six members appointed by the President of the Republic upon proposal from the National Council and the government of Slovakia.

Pursuant to the Regulatory Act the Regulatory Council elects its chairman and vice-chairman from among its members.

As the members of the council are appointed by the President under instruction from the government, it may be suggested that the degree of independence in the Council's decision making is lessened.
 

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Regulatory framework

The following regulations are relevant in Slovakia:

  • Programme Supporting Energy Savings and Utilization of RES (2000)
  • Renewable Energy Concept (2003)
  • Energy Act (2005
  • Energy Policy of the Slovak Republic (2006)
  • Energy Security Strategy of the Slovak Republic (2007)


A programme exists for supporting RES and energy efficiency, including feed-in tariffs and tax incentives, The system of fixed feed-in tariffs for renewable electricity was introduced in 2005.  Prices are set so that the rate of return on investment is 12 years when drawing a commercial loan .
 

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Regulatory roles

Regulatory functions in Slovakia implemented by the Regulatory Office have the following goals:

  • Create conditions that stimulate market competition.
  • Promote competition.
  • Protect consumers against dominant market players.
  • Allow regulated entities to earn reasonable rate of return on investment.
  • Ensure reliable, efficient, and good quality provision of energy.


Pursuant to the legislation that came into force 1 January 2005 all industrial customers became eligible customers. In practice these customers have the right to choose their supplier of electricity. On the basis of this the Office stopped regulating prices for these customers.

URSO also handles the licensing and authorisation of new supply plants.
 

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Energy regulation role

The Ministry of Economy (MHSR) is a central body of state administration, which is responsible for all policy-making, in the energy sector, and develops energy legislation .

The Ministry for the Environment is primarily responsible for providing information, policy-making, and legislation development in the field of the environment.

The role of the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) acts as the advisory body of the Ministry of Economy as well as to the Regulatory Office and is involved in creation of the legal framework and its harmonization with the EU energy acquits.  The organisation now participates in policy development on a regional level, as well as providing advice on conditions that support the environmentally-responsible use of energy. (http://www.sea.gov.sk/index.htm
 

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Regulatory barriers

The development and implementation of environmental and energy policies are not centralized and lack coordination. Better coordinating efforts among the different administrative bodies is thus needed. Carrying out systematic evaluations, including the construction of marginal abatement cost curves, would improve the cost effectiveness of environmental and energy policies. In particular, measures to develop RES should be carefully monitored to avoid deadweight losses and abusive exploitation. Those subsidies, which could be replaced by more efficient and less costly market-based instruments, should be phased out. For instance, tax exemptions on electricity produced from renewables should be removed and subsidies for equipments used to exploit RES should be replaced by soft loans or at least this state aid should be targeted on credit-constrained households. 

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References

IEA Energy Statistics (2009). Available at: http://www.iea.org/countries/membercountries/slovakrepublic/statistics/ [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Austrian Energy Agency Country Profile - Slovak Republic. Available at: http://www.enercee.net/countries/country-selection/slovak-republic.html [Accessed 16th September 2013]

KPMG. Central and Eastern European Hydropower Outlook. Available at: http://www.kpmg.com/HU/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Pages/Central-and-Eastern-European-Hydro-Power-Outlook.aspx [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Ministry of Economy and Construction of the Slovak Republic. National Renewable Energy Action Plan (Slovak Republic). October 2010. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/action_plan_en.htm [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Energy Charter website. Energy Efficiency Review of the Slovak Republic. 2009. Available at: http://www.encharter.org/index.php?id=176 [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Euroelectric, Europe Desk. June 2002. Towards a pan-European Energy Market: Electricity Sector Reform in the Candidate Countries, Balkan Countries and the Russian Federation. Available at: http://www.eurelectric.org/PublicDoc.asp?ID=9471 [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Slovenské elektrárne website. About us. Available at: http://www.seas.sk/en/the-company/about-us/slovenske-elektrarne [Accessed 16th September 2013]

European Environmental Agency. 2011 Survey of resource efficiency policies in EEA member and cooperating countries – SLOVAKIA. Available at: http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/economy/resource-efficiency/slovakia-2014-resource-efficiency-policies [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Tadlánková, L. Changes in the promotion of Renewable Energy in Slovakia. 2011. Available at: http://www.legal500.com/assets/images/stories/firmdevs/changes_in_the_promotion_of_renewable_energy_in_slov.pdf [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Bryan Pasquier, S & Jollands, N. IEA. Summary of country reports submitted to the Energy Efficiency Working Party. January to September 2010. Available at: http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/name,3922,en.html [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Smith, H. European Energy Review 2010. Latest version (2013) available at: http://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/insights/issues/european-energy-handbook-2013 [Accessed 16th September 2013]

OECD. OECD Economic Surveys: Slovak Republic November 2010. Overview. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/8/46478358.pdf [Accessed 16th September 2013] Close References