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Ivan Šmon: The pandemic has also changed the WEC energy issues monitor

Ivan Šmon: The pandemic has also changed the WEC energy issues monitor

Date: April 21st 2021

Author: Alenka L. Klopčič, Tanja Srnovršnik

Category: En.vision

Topic: Electricity , Energy policy , En.vision

Much like the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives, it has also changed the WEC Energy Issues Monitor, which, among other things, identifies support mechanisms as an action priority on the European level, but as a critical uncertainty in Slovenia, along with nuclear and renewables. This was the main focus of Energetika.NET’s interview with Ivan Šmon, president of WEC Slovenia and CEO of the Slovenian electricity distributor Elektro Gorenjska. Watch the video interview HERE (in Slovenian only).

ekonomijaThe EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson recently noted that investments in electricity grids need to double in the EU compared to the previous decade, to reach more than EUR 50 billion per year, due to increasing reliance on electricity and a ramp up in solar and wind. The Energy Issues Monitor, which is issued by the World Energy Council (WEC) every year, has identified economic trends, investor environment, and support mechanisms as the critical uncertainties in Europe, with economic trends and support mechanisms also presenting a critical uncertainty in Slovenia. What does this mean in terms of the investments needed for an energy transition? Does this mean that the EU recovery funds are insufficient?

“Much like the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives, it has also changed the Energy Issues Monitor,” replied Šmon, president of WEC Slovenia and CEO of Elektro Gorenjska.

The Energy Issues Monitor is a report which has been published by the World Energy Council (WEC) every year since 2009 and which contributes to the global discussion on energy issues. This year, 2,500 energy leaders from 108 countries contributed to the survey, providing 60 national perspectives from six global regions. WEC Slovenia took an active part in the preparation of the report.

“The fundamental shift is that the main and critical issue both on the European and on the Slovenian level relates to the economic growth and the economic trends that bring uncertainty in the sense that we do not know if we will be able to carry out all the investments planned on the EU level,” said Šmon, mentioning renewable energy sources (RES) and digitalisation, which are also backed by support mechanisms and the investor environment.

Another key element is the legislation, so Šmon believes that an even greater issue (than the sufficiency of funds) is whether Slovenia has the right legislation and mechanisms in place on a national level to absorb the allocated funds. “All these resilience and recovery plans rely on green recovery politics and it is these politics that can facilitate the transition (to a sustainable future; author’s note)”.

Slovenia to rely on two pillars – RES and nuclear


prew apr 2Šmon believes that the reason why RES and nuclear are identified as action priorities in Europe while being seen as critical uncertainties in Slovenia is that these two areas are still not well defined in terms of the direction that the country wants to take, which, however, may change with the adoption of strategic documents.

Since Slovenia’s energy mix is one third fossil fuels, one third RES and one third nuclear, we need to keep in mind that one of these pillars will have to be phased out, which means that we will probably have to rely on the remaining two, so RES and nuclear, said Šmon.


Watch the video interview HERE (in Slovenian only).




This article is available also in Slovene.



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