Showing posts from August, 2015

How Will Injection of Politics into Tauron Affect Shareholders?

The verdict is still undecided, but the initial view is not encouraging. The Treasury Ministry is using its leverage as the major shareholder to put in new directors who are more friendly toward the idea of bailing out a bankrupt state-owned coal mine. The initial Tauron proposal based on a real business case was dismissed by the unions and the government. The Polish Government wants to use Tauron's economic muscle to bail out a mining company that is not economical to operate. Why would private investors have any confidence that such companies manipulated by the government are actually operating in a manner designed to benefit their other shareholders? See source, August 13, 2015. Note: August 26, 2015: All the state-owned electricity companies have been hit hard by falling stock prices. The Government has also pushed the other company boards to use their company resources to bail out coal (on very unrealistic terms due to union pressure). If successful, the Governme

Will Electricity Shortages in Poland Change Any Policies?

Poland is stumbling over a cliff on its energy future. Poland's energy future has been the subject of hundreds of ages of "plans" written by out of touch bureaucrats beholden  to the invested interest of the state in its coal-fired utilities. Not surprisingly, these plans have little to do with reality. See "Hitting Reality: Polish Energy Policy Meets the Facts, " May 2014. Now electricity shortages and threatened brown-outs may compel Polish politicians to start at least trying to consider technological and economic realities. Alone in Europe, Poland is building new coal-fired capacity while its coal and lignite fired current plants are relics of a past age. New coal plants will cost more than wind energy and during their useful life they will also be more expensive than PV. But they will only be profitable if they can operate at high rates of utilization. On average, Poland uses about 55% of its electricity capacity and renewable energy gets a priority in