With the economic slowdown, the Slovak government is focusing its efforts on combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus among the population to ensure the resumption of production and business activity in the country since mid-May 2020.
At present, the possible losses of the Slovak economy over the two months of quarantine measures are estimated at 5% of GDP or at least EUR 4 billion.
“The reaction of the oil market and the ruble exchange rate that has already taken place allows us to conclude that Russia’s GDP in 2020 will fall by 1.5-2%, and inflation will rise to 10-15%” – believes Sergey Khestanov, Russian economist, associate professor of ‘The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration‘, macroeconomic adviser to the general director of the Moscow investment company ‘Otkrytie Broker’.
The newly appointed European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, addressed the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and presented the basic principles of energy policy and work plans for 2020.
The Directorate-General for Energy (DG Ener), which she heads, is focused on the launch of a mechanism for a fair energy transition. The key task will be to assist in the preparation of national plans and monitor the progress of their implementation, coordinate the interaction of all available financial programs and assistance instruments for the rapid implementation of ambitious decarbonisation plans.
On March 2, 2020, a closed expert meeting called “Increasing Renewable Energy in Central Europe”, organized by the British Government and the COP26 Organizing Committee, was held at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Vienna, Austria, at the level of representatives of the governments of Central and Eastern Europe, and was aimed at discussing aspects of closure of coal industries of Central and Eastern Europe within the framework of “energy transition”.
Sergey Khestanov – Russian economist, associate professor of ‘The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration’, macroeconomic adviser to the general director of the Moscow investment company ‘Otkrytie Broker’, believes that at the end of 2019 – the beginning of 2020 important factor that influences the economic cycle is powerfully manifested: the election campaign in the United States began. The current US president, D. Trump, is actively demonstrating a desire to be re-elected.
On January 14, 2020, the European Commission officially presented its plans to implement a special instrument to comprehensively support integrated policies aimed to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, namely Just Transition Mechanism.
The European Commission estimates that during the 2021-2027 budget period Just Transition Mechanism should provide around EUR 100 billion of EU financial assistance in the form of grants and direct investment to the most vulnerable regions with a significant share of coal or heat generation. The Mechanism should also help attract at least EUR 1 trillion in investment from private institutions and national government programs to support energy transition.
The German companies Siemens and VDL Bus & Coach have begun testing new charging modular stations in conjunction with storage systems for heavy electrified vehicle fleets, which could become a new niche in the transport field and an important partner for transmission system operators. The use of V2G technology allows the fast charging of electrified heavy transport, as well as offers frequency balancing and maintenance services in the grid.
At the same time, US Navigant and eIQ Mobility offer creation and maintenance of parks of electric vehicles on a turn-key basis, which can bring a new type of company to the global transportation market that are capable of becoming effective partners for transmission system operators and capable to successfully implement electrification programs with minimal negative impact on the stability of power systems functioning.
An analysis of Gazprom’s presence in the European gas market in recent years shows that the company has generally been able to adapt to new business conditions. While Gazprom’s share of the European gas market is likely to decline in the medium term and gas prices will tend to decline, the Russian supplier’s position will remain strong, including in Central and Eastern Europe.
The outcome of the tripartite consultations on the signing of a contract for the transit of Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine to EU countries, in particular the signing of the minutes of the governmental meeting of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the EU on December 20, 2019, is estimated by the European side as a compromise between Ukraine and Russia, which minimizes the risks of winter 2019/20 season for Central and Eastern Europe.
European Union and the US held their first business conference on the development and implementation of small modular reactors (SMRs) as a promising technology for low carbon energy development, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and the replacement of existing fossil fuel power plants and all coal-fired power plants (TPP). The conference was attended by US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, as well as representatives of Euratom and US private development companies.