In the current context of European natural gas prices, rising prices for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) certificates, increasing European Commission support for decarbonisation of member-state economies, increases the attractiveness of renewable gas projects, including liquefied petroleum gas.
At present, bioLPG, as an alternative biofuel, is considered a promising area for decarbonisation of the transport, residential, industrial and petrochemical sectors. By producing propane and butane from organic residues or waste raw materials, it is possible to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%.
In the current situation of European natural gas prices, the increase in EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) certificates, the European Commission’s support for decarbonisation of member states’ economies, the attractiveness of renewable gas projects, including biomethane, is growing. In the context of decarbonisation, the potential of the renewable gas industry, according to experts, far outweighs the prospects for hydrogen use.
On January 26, 2022 the representatives of the corporate sector, the Slovak government and experts discussed aspects of the decarbonization of the transport sector of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava at the premises of the Slovak company SPP, a.s. (monopoly operator of gas distribution networks) within the “Slovak Gas and Oil Association” (SPNZ) conference entitled “How will the European Commission Fit for 55 program affect the transport industry?”. According to Adrian Krajňák, Head of the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, the Slovak side considers that full use of the national economies of each member shall be the basis for transition to a low-carbon economy in the EU.
An influential factor in ensuring the energy security of the Slovak Republic in the winter of 2021-2022 is the possible escalation of the security situation around Ukraine. According to our experts, the security situation around Ukraine is already having negative consequences for the Slovak economy, and the implementation of any scenario of escalation of the crisis will lead to rising prices for natural gas and electricity in the Slovak Republic.
In the event of a large-scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, supplies of strategic energy raw materials (Russian oil and natural gas) to Slovakia are expected to cease. Another scenario is the strengthening of US and EU political and economic sanctions to deter Russia from aggression, which could be directed against Russian energy companies and lead to even greater gas shortages in Europe.
On November 22, 2021, Bratislava hosted an important annual international event in the field of energy, the Central European Energy Conference 2021 (CEEC2021), organized by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic.
Representatives of the European Commission, the governments of the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, expert organizations and energy companies in the region discussed post-crisis economic recovery, energy transition (decarbonization, digitalization, decentralization) and energy security in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
According to the participants of the international conference Energy Community – “16th Gas Forum”, held on September 22-23, 2021 in Ljubljana, Slovenia and the joint international event of OSCE and World Energy Council Austria – “The 4th Vienna Energy Security Dialogue” Energy Markets and Security During the Global Recovery” conference, held on October 22, 2021 in Vienna, Austria, a combination of such factors as the start of commercial operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and a possible decline in the importance of Ukraine as the main transit of Russian natural gas to the territory of EU member states, may be the cause of the most significant changes in the topology of gas transmission routes in Europe over the past 20 years, after the commissioning in 1999 of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.
According to the RRZ report “On the assessment of compliance with budgetary responsibility and the rules of budget transparency for 2020” (Správa o hodnotení plnenia pravidiel rozpočtovej zodpovednosti a pravidiel rozpočtovej transparentnosti za rok 2020), submitted by the organization’s secretariat to the Slovak parliament, the public debt of the Slovak Republic constitutes 60.5% of GDP, which threatens the economic stability of the country.
At present, the automotive industry remains the key “driver” of the Slovak Republic’s economy, which, in the setting of the crisis, causes a rapid deterioration of macroeconomic indicators, and in the case of stabilization of foreign demand and production conditions – a sharp growth of the Slovak economy.
In June 2021, the Slovak industry offset the decline caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Industrial production in Slovakia in June 2021 increased by 13.7% as compared to the same period last year and exceeded the level of production in June 2019 by 4.1%.
On August 3, 2021 at the Slovak-Polish border near the Slovak town Výrava (Medzilaborce region) the physical connection of the Slovak and Polish GTS as the final stage of the project of the interconnector PL-SK. Construction and technical testing of the gas pipeline infrastructure are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The beginning of commercial operation of the PL SK interconnector is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022.