Research Fellow Emmet Tuohy and Junior Research Fellow Anna Bulakh were featured panelists at the 9th Energy Forum in Karpacz, Poland, organized by the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies from 22-24 January 2015.
On the panel Energy as an Integrating Factor, moderated by leading German business journalist Michael Mayer and including Lithuanian and Polish experts, Tuohy stressed the importance of the regional cooperation among Nordic, Baltic, and Central EU member states for successful integration of their electricity and gas networks. He emphasized that despite fairly wide expert agreement for years now on the kinds of regulatory and physical infrastructure projects necessary to accomplish this integration the record has been mixed. However,he concluded, changes in the current geopolitical environment have given new impetus to previously fruitful reforms in electricity, and may yet bring about a functioning gas market operating on a freely traded commercial basis in the medium-term future.
For her part, Bulakh presented findings from a forthcoming ICDS research paper at a panel entitled Connecting Europe’s Energy Corridors: Political Premises and Business Opportunities, where she focused on possibilities for Estonia and the Baltic countries to develop a viable commercial gas market in which energy companies would compete to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the region while investing in infrastructure projects. If such a market emerged, she concluded,the experience of other regions indicates that the resulting market would likely integrate smoothly and effectively into the broader European and world market for gas.