The change of government is an opportunity for an interesting discussion about energy reforms. However, they should start with the release of data from the sector, which in this regard remains opaque and inaccessible – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief at BiznesAlert.pl.
The Instrat centre presented an interesting proposal for the establishment of a special agency to monitor the energy transition and conduct a social dialogue between the government and the entities affected by it. The proposal is based on two claims: that there is not enough knowledge about the energy business available, and that the salaries in the public sector are too low. The experts believe that these factors are undermining the expertise of the Polish state in the energy sector.
I think the lack of information on the energy sector is an accurate diagnosis. However, instead of collecting them in a new agency, I would suggest using the Main Statistical Office or the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. These institutions have the necessary apparatus to collect data on the energy sector. These are now distributed across various entities, including private ones, and access to them is often paid. Meanwhile, statistical data are a public good, which, like the German solutions, should be available to everyone concerned.
While the problem with low wages in the public sector has been written about for years by the the Jagiellonian Club, with which I have been associated for more than a decade. The solution is not an exclusive agency with higher salaries for one of the sectors, in this case the one related to the energy transition, but an increase in the salaries of specialists in all ministries dealing with the economy, climate and more. It is the ministries that need well-paid specialists, and this applies not only to the energy sector, but to the entire public sector. A random private entity is now able to buy up an expert with rich regulatory experience from a given ministry, and this happens more often than not. This is why public administration is short on good experts.
Access to reliable information on the energy sector should be the basis for making decisions about its future. The desire to maintain a social dialogue on the energy transition requires that this public good be available more widely than just in the decision-making centre. It is therefore high time to release energy data for the good of the sector.