– The right idea of taxing state-owned oil companies, which use the energy crisis to make a fortune, is used by Jacek Sasin for his private political intrigues. The minister favors energy companies that he should actually tax – says Piotr Wójcik, energy market analyst from Greenpeace Polska.
According to Polityka Insight, the solution refers to compensation for the energy sector, which nowadays generates large, above-average profits. PKN Orlen’s profit in the first half of 2022 increased by 89 percent. year on year, and PGNiG increased by 300 percent. Additionally, the same energy sector is to be able to deduct investments from the new tax. And there is no question of what these investments will be (or, for example, only those that will help immunize us against crises such as the current ones, i.e. in RES, EE). “The history of energy investments in renewable energy is, to put it mildly, disgraceful. In the last six years, PGE has allocated less than 4 percent of its investments to the renewable energy segment,” says Greenpeace.
According to the organization there is no criterion for selecting those companies that get the richest in the circumstances of the ongoing war in Ukraine and high energy prices, that is, criteria referring mainly to fuel and energy companies. You can see these, the author of the solution wanted to protect in some way – says Greenpeace.
The revenues from the new tax on all large ones, estimated by the government, i.e. PLN 13.5 billion during the year, is roughly as much as extra profits appeared in only the first half of 2022 by two companies such as PKN Orlen and PGNiG (12, PLN 2 billion) – the organization calculates. From taxing the above-average profits of only three fuel concerns – PKN Orlen, PGNiG and Lotos – an estimated three times more (PLN 37.4 billion) could be obtained. It is possible that with the proposed solution, these concerns will pay only a small fraction of this amount or not at all, taking advantage of the reliefs and compensations, the organization is alarming.
– Another fatal mistake would be to eat up the money obtained from the tax. The government should invest them in thermal insulation of Polish houses and heat pumpsthanks to which millions of Poles would have crisis-proof homes. Sasin’s proposal is silly, the government will spend several billion zlotys on ad hoc allowances, and next year we will be as vulnerable to the energy crisis as today – says Piotr Wójcik from Greenpeace Polska.
The funds raised from the new tax will help to a large extent to relieve everyone, not only the most needy (An example would be the freezing of energy prices for all households to a certain level of consumption, with no income criterion). There is no element of solidarity with Poles who really need help. Greenpeace argues that the proposed solutions are a springboard for the falling support bars of the ruling party, and not support for the poorest in the fight against the effects of the energy crisis. Lowering the price of energy artificially for everyone, not just those in need, has another disadvantage. It reduces the incentive to look for alternatives that de facto already exist and can offer cheaper energy, independence from fossil fuel imports and are climate friendly.
The solutions proposed by the government are short-sighted and do not solve the problem of rising energy prices in the long term. The answer to rising energy prices should be to support those activities that will realistically contribute to lowering energy bills in the medium and long term. Such a solution is investments in renewable energy (photovoltaics, onshore wind energy, heat pumps) and in improving energy efficiency – in particular, thermal modernization of buildings.
“The energy crisis will not disappear by magic and in the coming years, without a systemic change in the Polish energy system, Polish women and Poles will struggle with high energy prices. Therefore, a comprehensive strategy for the transformation of the energy sector is needed, with many elements, which will allow to eliminate the common cause of the price, energy and climate crisis, i.e. fossil fuels. Instead, we need renewable energy, energy storage, heat pumps, pro-consumer energy and energy networks that will enable trouble-free connection and integration of these elements “- Greenpeace enumerates.
– The implementation of the house insulation program is so ineffective that it is close to the energy sabotage of Poland. In four years, the government of the United Right was to spend PLN 40 billion on insulating Polish houses and replacing heating. Even 20 percent of this plan has not been implemented! We can only imagine how much we would be more resistant to Putin’s energy blackmail if the government implemented this program effectively – says Marek Józefiak, press spokesman for Greenpeace Polska.