The Winter Package: building competitive advantages, or a threat to Poland?

15 March 2017 (Wednesday)

Invitation to the debate

organized jointly with Ireneusz Zyska, Member of the Polish Parliament, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group on Mining and Energy Industry

and in cooperation with Association of Polish Electrical Engineers

The Winter Package: building competitive advantages, or a threat to Poland?”

15 March 2017, Warszawski Dom Technika NOT

[headquarters of the NOT Engineering Federation], Room B, ul. Czackiego 3/5, Warsaw

Registration starts at 10:30. Beginning of the debate at 11:00

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a set of regulations referred to as the Winter Package, aimed at maintaining the EU competitiveness in the era of energy markets’ transformation towards clean energy. The document contains 1000 pages of legislative proposals which cover the issues of energy efficiency, renewable energy, electricity market structure, security of energy supplies and energy management policies for the needs of the energy union. The Commission also proposes a package of measures to accelerate clean energy innovations and activities related to renovation of buildings, and points at measures to encourage investments and mitigate the social effects of the transition to clean energy.

According to the European Commission, the draft directives and regulations on developing the EU energy market ultimately seek to establish an integrated energy union. The problem is whether EU countries, other than the riches ones, are ready for such integration, whether they are able to think and act in a totally new way about the energy sector. The draft legislation package, expected and analysed for a long time already, is based on three main pillars: energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and fair treatment of consumers. It is the consumer to whom the slogan “Clean energy for all Europeans” applies. In fact, this means a change of philosophy: the EU’s departure from centralized electricity generation in large power units, and switching to distributed renewable energy sources. Such investments are expected to be a driving force for the economy.

The adjustment to the new requirements is going to be a big challenge for Poland. According to many experts, in view of the expected decarbonisation of the power sector, our energy mix which is still based on coal puts us on a collision course against the current priorities of the EU. So, what can Poland do in this situation? Notably, the establishment of the energy union should follow the principle of technological neutrality and member states’ right under the Treaty to independently determine their energy mix. This principle seems not taken into account in the draft Winter Package regulations which introduce the emission requirements a priori excluding conventional coal-fuelled units. Experts differ in their opinions on the issue but everyone agrees on one thing: it is necessary to “build a line for negotiations” with Brussels.

To negotiate effectively, one needs arguments. Our debate will attempt to formulate such arguments by focusing on the following topics:

  • Do the Winter Package regulations enable, and to what extent, Poland’s contribution to the building of the EU's position as the global leader in renewable energy sources?;
  • Concentration of powers at the European level in the field of determining the market rules and of ensuring energy supply security - opportunities and risks for the power industry and overall economy;
  • “Energy efficiency above all” – its impact on innovation growth and increased competitiveness of the Polish economy (DSM / DSR / ESCo);
  • The problem of growing energy poverty - how to stop it and increase the role of electricity consumers.

The following persons have been invited to take part in the discussion panel:

  • Paweł Sałek, Secretary of State, Government Plenipotentiary for Climate Policy;
  • Michał Kurtyka, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Energy;
  • Maciej Bando, President of the Energy Regulatory Office;
  • Ireneusz Zyska, Member of the Polish Parliament;
  • Kazimierz Grajcarek, Chairman of the Mining and Energy Industry Secretariat, the NSZZ Solidarność trade union;
  • Bolesław Jankowski, Vice-President of the Board for Trading, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA;
  • Konrad Purchała, Deputy Director, Department of Strategy and International Cooperation, PSE SA;
  • Roman Pionkowski, Vice-President of the Board, Energa Wytwarzanie SA;
  • Prof. Mariusza Swora, member, ACER Board of Appeal;
  • Piotr Lewandowski, President of the Board, Institute for Structural Research;
  • Halina Bownik–Trymucha, Chairperson of the Programme Board, Procesy Inwestycyjne.

Moderator: Wojciech Jakóbik, Editor-in-Chief,

We kindly invite you to participate!

Persons who wish to take part in the debate are required to fill in THE REGISTRATION FORM

Further information is available from: Ms Krystyna Kowalska, tel. 22 424 82 01, e-mail: