In this paper I will be comparing the energy policies of Russia and Poland. I will first give a brief overview of each state and explain why I choose to compare them. I will then look at the prevalence of fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and renewable energy in both countries. I will then look at the policy goals of each country. I will then look at policy regarding ownership of fossil fuel resources and industry. I will also look at major regulatory bodies involved.
I will then similarly look at the ownership of, and regulatory bodies involved with Nuclear energy. I will then compare the general attitudes of either country towards fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and renewable energy. Finally, I will look at what steps if any are being taken by either country to combat climate change and to protect the environment through Energy policy and regulatory restraints on the Energy sector. Poland is a unitary semi-presidential state considered by some as an illiberal democracy.
Russia by comparison is an asymmetric federal state with a semi presidential regime. Russia is considered an illiberal democracy by most sources and is the go to example of an illiberal democracy. A comparison between Russia and Poland was chosen due to their mutual status as post-communist states, both being widely regarded as illiberal democracies. Additionally the to states were compared due to lasting geopolitical tensions between Russia and NATO and how said tensions could influence energy policy.Both Russia and Poland primarily use fossil fuels to provide energy for their countries. However, while Russia primarily depends on oil and natural gas Poland relies mostly on coal. Russia as of 2017 was the third largest producer of crude oil at 547 million tons, the second largest producer of natural gas at 694 billion cubic meters, and the fourth largest producer of lignite coal at 232 million tons. By comparison Poland produced a mere 2 million tons of crude oil, and 5.77 billion cubic meters of natural gas. However, despite its much smaller size Poland produced just over half the coal Russia did at a total of 129 million tons of lignite coal in 2017 making Poland the tenth largest coal producer. According to this same source both Poland and Russia produced a similar proportion of Renewable energy when including hydroelectric power with 15.5% of Polish energy production being renewable while 17.5% of Russia’s energy production was renewable (“Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2018”). According to World Data, Poland’s energy production capacity consisted of 79% fossil fuel energy, 19% renewable energy, 2% water power, and 0% nuclear power (“Energy consumption in Poland”). According to World Data Russia’s energy production capacity consisted of fossil fuels 68%, water power 21%, nuclear power 11%, and renewable energy 1% (“Energy consumption in Russia”).Long term Russian energy policy as a concept after the collapse of the Soviet Union began in September of 1992. It wasn’t until 1995 however when Russia adopted Major directions of Energy Strategy of Russia for the period up to 2010 that Russian policy goals were clearly defined. Later documents for the periods up to 2020 and later 2030 were adopted in 2003 and 2010 respectively. In 1998 the Ministry of Fuel and Energy established the Institute of Energy Strategy which would monitor and correct implementation of the strategic policy. According to a document by the Ministry of Energy of The Russian Federation the main goal of Russian energy policy is to maximize efficiency making use of natural energy to sustain economic growth, improve quality of life, and to improve geopolitical standing (“Energy Strategy of Russia for the period up to 2030” 2010).Long term energy goals of Poland were presented in a Polish government draft titled Energy Policy of Poland until 2040. In this document optimal use of domestic energy resources and development of electricity generation and transmission infrastructure were presented as two goals. This is not unlike Russia’s energy goals which focus on maximizing energy efficiency to facilitate economic growth. Poland also sets out the establishment of Nuclear energy as a key goal like how Russia seeks to expand the role of Nuclear energy in their economy. Unlike Russia Poland emphasizes expansion of renewable energy as a key goal (Ciszewska 2018).While during the 1990s the Russian oil industry became increasingly privatized more recently oil production assets have come under the control of state companies such as Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, and Gazprom. Today Russian state oil companies account for around half of the oil production in the country. Russia produces far more oil and gas than is needed for domestic consumption and the country has become a major fuel exporter because of this (Josefson & Rotar 2018). Russian energy generally sees a large amount of state control with the share of state-owned enterprises in power generation capacity being just over 40% according to the OECD. For comparison the OECD average is just under 40%, meanwhile Poland by comparison sees significantly less state control with the share of state-owned enterprises in power generation capacity being just over 25% (“Energy sector SOEs: You have the power!” 2018).As previously mentioned, Poland has a lower rate of state control over the energy sector, however the four major power producers of the country Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), Enea, Tauron, and Energa are all state controlled. Additionally, state control over the energy sector has increased under the Law and Justice Party (Barteczko, Koper, & Heavens 2018). This increase in control is largely a result of a policy called Repolonization in which shares of energy companies owned by foreign state companies and private individuals are bought by the Government to increase the control of the Polish state over the energy sector (Baca-Pogorzelska 2017). So although the Polish energy sector is currently privatized relative to Russia recent