Neivelt: No one responsible for energy price big picture

Indrek Neivelt.
Indrek Neivelt. Source: ERR/Kirke Ert

Businessman Indrek Neivelt says that no one seems to be responsible for the big picture of colossal energy prices, with Estonia lacking strategies for bringing prices down in the next five years.

"Everyone is towing their narrow line, while no one is looking at the big picture when it comes to energy. The onlookers realize the train is going nowhere fast. Rules have been set in stone somewhere – some on the EU level, others on the local level – with everyone off in the wrong direction," Neivelt said on the "Vikerhommik" radio show on Wednesday.

Neivelt pointed out that Eesti Energia paid over €300 million into the state budget during the first half-year. "Now, with elections looming, we'll be courted with our own money."

"Can we really call paying €4,000 per megawatt-hour supply security? /---/ Who is responsible for competitiveness, people's coping? No one," he said.

Neivelt said that Estonia needs a plan for surviving the coming winter but also for the next five years. "We will not build a new power plant this year. While we can talk about nuclear and what have you, it will not solve the problem for the next five years. We need to say what we can do now to improve life over the next five years," Neivelt remarked.

The government is on the right path trying to contain expenses for home consumers for the coming heating season. But that does not solve entrepreneurs' problems, and Estonia's competitive ability stands to take a hit.

"I believe we should coordinate our steps more closely with Latvia and Lithuania, which is something we have not been doing. Of course, the CO2 prices is a big deal," Neivelt suggested. "It should be fixed for a period of a few years. The price does not have to be €100 in a situation where other countries offer compensation when the price reaches €20-25."

The businessman said that Estonians' undue faith in the market is one of the reasons for the situation. "We believed that the Nord Pool was a real exchange," he said. "The purpose of Nord Pool is to manage excess power generation capacity. It was never meant for a situation where we are short on power. With Nord Pool rules – I believe the electricity side of it needs to be taken out and sold to consumers directly."


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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