IEA: Slovakia needs diverse energy sector

Feb. 7, 2012 at 6:28 AM

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Expanding energy ties between the Slovak republic and its regional neighbors will ease its reliance on Russian natural gas, the IEA said.

Slovakia gets nearly all of its natural gas and oil from Russia. The International Energy Agency said the government has made impressive gains in energy security and efficiency but more work was needed.

"Energy security is a top priority in the Slovak republic's energy policy agenda," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven in a statement. "Enhancing regional co-operation, particularly in the development of gas and electricity interconnections, is an essential step towards meeting the dual policy objectives of enhancing energy security and market competition."

An IEA report on Slovakia notes the government there is aware of the risks that dependence on Russia carries. The country has tied its electricity market with the Czech Republic and is working on linking to planned liquefied natural gas terminals in Croatia and Poland.

The IEA report adds that fossil fuels use account for 70 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

"The country must continue to implement policies that ease the transition to a low-carbon economy," said van der Hoeven.

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