This paper is part of the wider Program on Energy and Sustainable Development study on the historical experience of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in countries that are in the midst of transforming the industrial organization of their electric power sectors. The study seeks to explain the patterns of investment in IPPs and the variation in IPP experiences. The aim is not only to assess the historical record accurately but also to chart possible future paths for the IPP mode of power sector investment. This paper follows the research methods and guidelines laid out in the project's research protocol.
In terms of IPP history, fuel context, and economic and political environment, Poland is not unique among the countries of Eastern Europe. All three EU accession countries in Eastern Europe-Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary-are formerly centrally planned economies that are in the midst of liberalizing their power sectors. As seen in Figure 1, both Poland and the Czech Republic rely primarily on coal for electric power generation. Poland was selected for study because it is the largest market and because coal is an entrenched incumbent.