Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Electricity Deregulation in the CIS states

A large gulf existed between the mode of operation of the energy sector in the CIS states and the former Eastern European countries before the collapse of the central economies, and the new market oriented systems being introduced now. It is difficult to over emphasise the extent of the change in the culture which has to be overcome. In some cases utility services were provided free and not even costed properly, even for management purposes. While this was the case in the former countries of Eastern Europe it was even more so in the old Soviet Union republics and it is not easy to change.

There has been some electricity market deregulation in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and a considerable amount in the Ukraine. Russia is now well into restructuring of the electricity sector and this is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008. This has involved the dismemberment and reorganisation of the huge assets of ROA UES and the regional energos, and the creation of a totally new market oriented system with separate companies. Foreign investors are already entering the Russian electricity market and buying stakes in some of the large new companies.

Wholesale electricity markets have been opened in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and the Ukraine but there has not yet been any opening of retail markets. This has been delayed by the long standing subsidisation of retail markets for residential users and the need to approach this in stages.


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