Poland Wants to Detail EU Role in Surging Electricity Prices

Facing a steep and unpopular increase in power prices, the Polish government wants electricity invoices to specify the additional costs households face due to European Union climate policies.

The bloc’s most coal-dependent nation will need to increase regulated power prices for consumers after the cost of emitting carbon-dioxide almost doubled this year. Utilities may ask the regulator to raise prices by 40% in 2022, according to Radio Zet, a move that would further stoke inflation, which is already at a two-decade high.

Premier Mateusz Morawiecki said power prices won’t rise as much as that, but are under pressures as Poland faces massive investments to meet EU climate goals. It will cost $415 billion, or about two-thirds of its gross domestic product, for the country to reach the bloc’s net zero emissions goal by 2050, according to government estimates.

“If there’s an increase next year, it will above all be linked to EU actions,” he told Dziennik Gazeta Prawna on Friday. “I’m all for showing this in electricity bills, so that people know how much the bloc’s climate policy costs.”

Morawiecki said he also sees “positives” for Poland in the bloc’s climate policies, including funds for the country’s energy transition.

His attempt to shift the blame for costlier electricity to the EU, and away from the government and its tightly-controlled utilities, comes amid a growing crisis between Warsaw and Brussels. The EU’s executive last week demanded Poland to pay daily fines for failing to comply with court verdicts, fueling anti-EU rhetoric by leading Polish officials.

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