Lecture by Stanford Professor Piotr D. Moncarz. The relationship between per capita energy consumption and productivity, GDP, and market competitiveness is well-documented in macro- and micro-economical studies. It is not surprising, therefore, that countries experiencing dynamic restructuring and re-definition of their economies in the post-communist era are even more concerned about their energy supply than established Western economies.
While governments in Central and Eastern Europe struggled with their dependence on Russia-supplied natural gas, some states—particularly Poland and Ukraine—were able to rely on their immense reserves of coal. Since then, the Russian Federation has further strengthened its dominant position as CEE’s supplier of natural gas and the European Union has established draconian limits on greenhouse emissions for its existing and would-be member states. Under these circumstances, Poland and other transitioning states must consider alternatives such as imports of Liquid Natural Gas, nuclear power plant construction, coal gasification, and shale gas. Increased exploration of technological alternatives may soon enable CEE to meet European environmental standards without sacrificing geopolitical and economic security