Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Challenges of Liberalization. The Case of Polish Electricity and Gas Sector

Nowak, Bartlomiej (2009): Challenges of Liberalization. The Case of Polish Electricity and Gas Sector. Published in: Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies , Vol. 2, No. 2 (2009): pp. 141-168.


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This paper applies the general insights of liberalization of the electricity and gas market to the market conditions of a particularly important new Member State in the EU, Poland. To this end the aim of this paper is to explain the Polish experience of liberalizing its energy market by reviewing those developments that produced its current shape. In fact there are two possible scenarios Polish policy makers can follow in liberalizing its energy sector. One would involve the UK approach that encompasses: ownership unbundling, less market concentration, less public ownership and more private capital in the industry. The second scenario follows the continental model: more concentration and vertical integration and more State or public ownership in the energy field (for instance, the French model). These two widely diverging approaches reflect different energy consumption patterns, energy mixes, sources of supply and natural resources of various countries. Having these differences in mind this research reviews developments that have produced the current state of liberalization of the electricity and gas sectors in Poland and discusses the prospects for further progress towards an integrated, competitive and liberalized European electricity and gas market in the light of the challenges that remain. These challenges include uneven unbundling, discriminatory third party access, insufficient independency of national regulator, consolidation and anti-competitive behaviour of incumbents or abuse of one’s dominant position on the market.

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