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“The most expensive energy in Europe” vs “one of the lowest prices”. We check the dispute of politicians

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The Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moscow, claims that Poland is the cheapest, and the opposition politician that it is the most expensive when it comes to energy prices. Both sides presented maps as proof of their arguments. We explain how it really is.

It aroused great interest map posted on Twitter on Saturday, July 8 by Anna Moskva, Minister of Climate and Environment. “Tusk’s truth and reality” – she commented. In her opinion, the attached map shows that “Thanks to the actions of the @pisorgpl government, average energy prices in Poland have been and are definitely lower than in Germany and are among the lowest in Europe” (original spelling of all entries). The minister concluded the post with the hashtag #KonkretyPiS.

In her post, Anna Moscow referred to Donald Tusk, the chairman of the Civic Platform. However, we have not found his statement from the last few days, which would refer to electricity prices. Previously, he had indeed repeatedly criticized the Law and Justice government for too high prices. Perhaps the minister referred to the words of the head of the PO, which were said a few hours earlier during National Convention of the Modern Partypart of the Civic Coalition. Tusk spoke there, among other things, about inflation and high prices. He gave an example of large expenses of an exemplary family from Pułtusk, which goes on holiday to Krynica. “Expensive has the dimension of human dramas” – he concluded.

The map published by the minister shows the average prices of electricity on the spot market in 2022 (the spot market, i.e. the day-ahead market, where energy is purchased at wholesale prices; transactions are carried out within two business days, and the basic one hour is commercial – ed.). European countries have different colors on it: from dark green (denotes the lowest prices), through lighter shades of green and light yellow, to dark yellow (the highest prices). Poland has a dark green color and a price of EUR 166.72/MWh, which is indeed one of the lowest, although in some regions of Sweden or Norway it is definitely cheaper. Germany is light green with a price of €235.45/MWh. The highest price – 307.81 EUR/MWh is assigned to northern Italy. At the bottom of the map there is information about the source – Energy-charts.info – and the last update, which is June 3, 2023.

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Avalanche of criticism: “The minister did not notice that it is July of the next year”

The minister’s entry has 267,000. views. For the publication of this map, an avalanche of criticism fell on her. Internet users and opposition politicians accused Moscow of publishing an outdated map. They added their own maps, but with completely different data.

“The minister didn’t notice that it’s July next year. Maybe a map from June or May? Or maybe add a chart with average earnings, more or less from the time in question?” – He asked Marek Belka, an MEP from the Civic Coalition, posted on Twitter a map from the same website as Moscow. “In Poland we have the most expensive energy in Europe. The PiS government worked for it for eight years” – handed over Jan Grabiec, MP and spokesman for the Civic Platform. His map was from 300 economy, and the data source was Energy Solution. The data covered the first half of 2023. “A reasonable person does not argue with the facts. The map shows the average price of electricity in Europe. In PiS there will be some Moscow, Brudzinski or other PiS apparatchik who will write that this is not true by presenting old data” – he commented Stanisław Gawłowski, a non-associated senator.

We checked the data of the map service cited by politicians.

Source website of the German institute

This is not the first time these maps with average electricity prices have hit social media and sparked lively discussions. Their source is very often a website with data energy-charts.info, led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). It is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe, currently employing around 1,400 people. It is based in Freiburg and has been involved in the energy transition in Germany since its inception. Today, it is one of the most important initiators and research partners in the world in the field of energy supplies based on 100% renewable energy. on renewable sources.

Different data every day

In the bookmark “maps” The German institute publishes interactive maps with average electricity prices in Europe in individual countries on the spot market. They are given in euros per megawatt hour. Countries are marked with colors – the warmer, the higher the price. In a very easy way, the user can choose the period of interest – year, month, week and even a specific day in the period from 2015 to now.

The ease of choosing the period and the fact that prices can change from day to day – as can be seen now in social media after the entry of the minister of Moscow – that supporters of a given political option look for data that suits them on this website. That is why it is important to be sure when you see the map from the Energy-charts.info website which period it concerns.

Old map of the minister of Moscow

It is not uncommon for the ISE service to generate and then distribute maps with outdated data. This was also the case with the map published by Anna Moskva. Indeed – as alleged by Internet users and opposition politicians – published by her on Twitter map is not up to date. This is a map with average prices for 2022, although a map with newer – albeit incomplete data – for 2023 is already available, but Poland is worse on it than a year ago.

The map published by the minister can be easily searched on institute website. In 2022, the average electricity bill in Poland was EUR 166.72/MWh, in Germany – EUR 235.45. At that time, it was the most expensive in the south of Europe (except for Spain and Portugal), and the cheapest in parts of Scandinavia, Poland, the Iberian and Baltic countries.

We analyzed the maps of the German institute with annual, monthly and weekly average electricity prices for the last two years. How does Poland compare to the rest of the continent and to Germany, which was mentioned by Minister Moscow in the entry?

2022. Cheaper in Poland than in Germany. Poland green

Recall – in February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in gigantic increases in energy prices in Europe. Suffice it to say that according to the data of the German institute, the average electricity price in Poland in 2022 was almost twice as high as the year before and almost four times higher than in 2020-2018.

From the map published by the Minister of Climate, we already know that prices in Poland throughout 2022 were among the lowest, lower than those in Germany. And how did it look broken down by month? The huge increase in prices after the outbreak of war can already be seen on the data map for March 2022. The entire south of Europe and part of the Central European countries are marked in red or orange. The most expensive is in northern and central Italy – 311.53 EUR/MWh. In Poland, the price is then EUR 141.53/MWh, and in Germany – EUR 252.01/MWh. In the following months, the situation on the continent calms down a bit, but in August huge increases again. The worst situation is in Italy – almost 550 EUR/MWh; in France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania and Latvia the price is approaching EUR 500/MWh. In Poland, the average price is then – EUR 268.89/MWh, and in Germany – EUR 465.18. In the next two months, there are large price drops across Europe. They grow again novemberto w December fall again.

To sum up: also on a monthly basis, throughout 2022 (except for November) average energy prices in Poland are indeed among the lowest in Europe. Our country is almost always marked green on the maps. Moreover, every month our prices are lower than in Germany, sometimes even twice. It is worth adding here that on an annual basis from 2015 to 2021, Germany had cheaper electricity than Poles.

Current data: in Germany cheaper than in Poland

As for the latest annual data for 2023 (incomplete, of course, because until July 10), Poland is currently orange (around the middle of the rate) with an average price of EUR 121.66/MWh. Electricity is more expensive by about EUR 10-15/MWh in Italy and Greece, and by EUR 20/MWh in Northern Ireland. So far, this year in Germany it is cheaper than in Poland – 102.32 EUR/MWh.

As for the latest monthly data, i.e. incomplete data for July, these ones show Poland marked in bright red. We have one of the highest prices – EUR 107.7/MWh, while on the most expensive Apennine Peninsula you have to pay about EUR 115-116/MWh. Germany is assigned a light green color and a rate of EUR 71.64/MWh. When we want to check the data for the last full month of the current year, i.e. for June, here Poland is already in dark red and it is the only country. Last month, the average price was EUR 118.17/MWh. Earlier, from January to March 2023, Polish prices are either among the lowest, or our country is in the middle of the pack. However, already in April in Poland, the average price is one of the highest – EUR 122.09/MWh. There is little else in Italy and Greece. In May, energy in Poland is the most expensive.

last weekly service data (updated on July 10) shows Poland in dark red with a rate of EUR 130.39/MWh. Germany is in yellow – 109.97 EUR/MWh.

The latest weekly data from Energy-Charts.info show that Poland has one of the highest energy prices.energy-charts.info

To sum up: on a monthly basis, every month 2023as well as in all weeks of this year (except for two weeks – the 3rd and 5th week) the average electricity prices in Poland are higher than those in Germany.

Main photo source: Piotr Polak, Marcin Obara/PAP

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