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Slovenia has the highest price of electricity

Slovenia has the highest price of electricity, at 0.115 euros per kilowatt hour (kWh), according to the “” website update from last Tuesday, the 11th of June. The website is a platform listing electricity prices, designed for market analysis and other relevant content in the energy industry.

The price was slightly lower the next day (0.107 euros) and again on the 13th of June (0.115 euros per kWh). The average price over the last 30 days was 0.845 euros per kWh, which is not low at all, given the excuses of the energy ministry.

Analysts: Slovenia most expensive, Norway cheapest

According to the operators of the website, or their analysts, electricity prices vary across Europe, with notable differences from the highest to the lowest. The most expensive price has been recorded in Slovenia, where electricity costs 0.115 euros per kWh. They added that “in contrast, the cheapest electricity price is in Norway, at just 0.031 euros per kWh. Meanwhile, Sweden and Denmark have a price of 0.063 euros per kWh, showing a significant drop compared to the highest prices.”

Italy and Croatia were also listed on the website, with prices of 0.104 euros per kWh.

Golob’s Minister laughed at this

However, these were not the first price announcements to appear in Slovenia and they spread like fire across social networks. The Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy, Bojan Kumer, told the public that he often laughs at such information. In addition, the media loudspeakers of the ruling coalition also began to tell the public that these prices were no big deal.

The subject is quite complicated for those who do not know a lot about the topic at hand, so we turned to the competent Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy, headed by Golob’s Minister Bojan Kumer, for answers. When asked why Slovenia was paying the highest electricity price in Europe on the stock exchange on the 11th of June, where we are the absolute record holders with 115 euros per MWh, we were first vehemently informed, like first-graders, that “Slovenia pays nothing on the stock exchange,” adding that electricity traders sell and buy on the stock exchange. As if we did not know that. As for the website, they wrote that it shows “the average stock exchange price of the BASE product for the day ahead, which varies by the hour. The average daily stock exchange prices for the upcoming day are calculated separately for each country. Energy prices on the stock exchange fluctuate widely, with jumps of several hundred percent from one day to the next not being uncommon.” Kumer’s comments are very generalised, forgetting that the system is the same for all countries. This cannot be the reason why Slovenia has the highest price. And this was also not the first time something like that has happened.

More bad excuses about Italy

The Ministry added that Italy is mostly among the most expensive because it imports so much. Energy flows towards a higher price, not a lower one. However, we have checked the Ministry’s figures. Italy is divided into several areas, with slightly different prices, but the data show that Italy paid the highest price of 0.117 euros per kWh in the last 30 days, while Slovenia paid 0.115 euros. The data also show that Slovenia paid the highest price in the last 30 days on the 3rd of June 2024, which was 0.129 euros per kWh, higher than the highest price for Italy (0.118 euros). This means that the Ministry of Energy is simply misleading in its statements.

The Ministry also pointed out that prices in south-eastern Europe and Greece are often higher than those in Slovenia, and often in Poland, too. We have not checked the latter for the time being. However, we will continue to monitor the issue.

They added that Slovenia is located next to Italy, which is probably the reason why the price for the day ahead is often among the highest in Europe. They noted that the price of electricity in Europe is determined by supply and demand on the free market. However, this price is only part of the cost of energy supply paid by final consumers, they added. We know this. Kumer also made sure to point out that, in their view, the other unavoidable part of the cost of supply is the cost of the network, which for many years was roughly equal to the cost of energy for households, but in the last two years has accounted for about half of the household’s energy bill. The share of the network charge for industry is much lower than for households. However, they did not add that this will change in the near future and that they are preparing drastic changes for the network charge.

We also learned that countries differ in their average annual energy costs, as well as in the cost of network charges. The biggest differences are in the third part we pay for electricity supply – taxes, contributions and excise duties.

What about Gen-I?

We asked the Ministry whether it is accurate that the energy company Gen-I sold energy from the Krško Nuclear Power Plant some time ago under long-term contracts for between 80 and 100 euros, but now Slovenia is buying significantly more expensive energy back from the markets. We were told that we would have to contact Gen-I for an answer to this question.

We have, of course, sent the same question to Gen-I before. However, we have not received a reply by the time of publishing this article. The sad thing is that the Ministry, which deals mainly with energy, does not know the answer to the Gen-I question. Or rather, should not know it when the public asks about it. Minister Bojan Kumer was an employee of Gen-I for many years. In fact, he came to the government from Gen-I. There are also indications that Gen-I entered into damaging long-term contracts at the very time when Bojan Kumer was employed there, and Golob was Chairman of the Board.

After winning the national elections in April 2022, Robert Golob made sure to take care of his friend Kumer and set up a new ministry. The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy was created by the reorganisation of Golob’s government in January 2023, but the Ministry’s focus is only on energy.

The megalomaniac corporate profits

Slovenia’s energy crisis began in 2022, with the government of Robert Golob tackling it in the medium term by installing large-scale solar power plants. This has enabled megalomaniac profits for companies offering to build turnkey solar power plants. Interestingly, the largest provider of such plants is the former company headed by Robert Golob, Gen-I.

The data also show that, for practically the entire term of this government, electricity prices in Slovenia have been among the highest in the European Union, even if the Ministry says otherwise. Furthermore, the government is also announcing a rise in network charges, which will hit the economy the hardest, and even households will not be able to avoid the adverse effects. With the new network charges, the government is reportedly planning to raise billions of euros.

Prices are high

Electricity prices in Slovenia have fluctuated over time. An analysis by a foreign website shows that the average electricity price for household consumers in Slovenia in December 2023 was 0.197 euros per kWhH, while the price for non-household consumers in the same period was 0.209 euros per kWh.

The result of stock market speculation?

Experts, who do not want to disclose their names in light of Golob’s retaliatory measures, link the huge fluctuations in electricity prices on international markets to stock market speculation, which is believed to have poured huge amounts of money into the pockets of individuals. All this is also linked to the price-rigging from the Krško nuclear power plant, where Gen-I at one point secured dumping prices.

Asking the Minister about Gen-I is like asking a wolf in the pasture where the sheep are

Bojan Kumer, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy, joined the energy company Gen-I in 2009 as a project manager for business development abroad. He was also the director of Gen Energija.

In 2018, he became Gen-I’s Group Sales Director, and in 2020, he took on a number of management and leadership roles. He has been closely associated with Robert Golob throughout his career. Today, when Kumer feigns ignorance and refers us to Gen-I for answers about the cheap sale of electricity from the state-owned nuclear power plant, the whole thing (our questions and his answers) is like asking the wolf where the sheep are. Let us add that Gen-I has not answered any of our questions during the Robert Golob government, and Bojan Kumer knows this, too.

Vida Kocjan

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