Barriers to Developing Competition in the Polish Electricity and Gas Market

  •  Sylwia Slupik    


The paper presents main barriers of creating a competitive energy market in Poland. Polish energy and gas sector in space of few recent years underwent breakthrough changes as far as regulations, structure, organisation and ownership are concerned. Drivers of change included the necessity to align national regulations with EU standards through transposition, and creating entities strong enough to finance their own investment outlays. As a result of those changes, both private and public producers and providers can compete for customers whilst using the regulated network infrastructure. Through those changes regulatory bodies were established and some of the following measures were used: TPA rule, accounting unbundling, legal unbundling and functional unbundling, merger & acquisition supervision on the national and regional level, state aid programmes and a range of other instruments facilitating consumer access to competitive power purchase offers concerning energy and natural gas. However, electricity and gas markets still remain dominated by market incumbents plus the competition is still limited, particularly so in the natural gas market. Among barriers impeding development of Polish energy sector and liberalisation of electricity and gas markets are: vertical consolidation in the sector; wrong architecture of the wholesale market; unstable regulatory environment; maintaining retail prices for households regulated; low consumer activity in the energy market.

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