Sofia warns against high electricity price

SEWRC wishes to freeze contracts with US utilities, protesting state aid for green energy

Photo: Pho­to: BGNES SEWRC Chair­per­son Boy­an Boev (2R) told media about the com­plaints filed with the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion.

The Bul­gar­i­an State Ener­gy and Water Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion (SEWRC) has filed two com­plaints with the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion to curb the impact on the coun­try's ener­gy mar­ket result­ing from exist­ing long-term agree­ments for the pur­chase of elec­tric­i­ty, SEWRC Chair­per­son Boy­an Boev told media on 25 June.

The Bul­gar­i­an State Ener­gy and Water Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion (SEWRC) has filed two com­plaints with the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion to curb the impact on the coun­try's ener­gy mar­ket result­ing from exist­ing long-term agree­ments for the pur­chase of elec­tric­i­ty, SEWRC Chair­per­son Boy­an Boev told media on 25 June.
One com­plaint deals with unlaw­ful state aid for Con­tour­Glob­al Mar­it­sa East 3 and AES Mar­itza East 1 ther­mal pow­er plants. "We insist that the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion sus­pends tem­po­ra­ri­ly the imple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ments with the two US util­i­ties, and that they be exclud­ed from the reg­u­lat­ed mar­ket until all evi­dence of unlaw­ful state aid has been pro­duced," Boev point­ed out.
The oth­er com­plaint is against the inflat­ed amount of sub­si­dies for man­da­to­ry pur­chas­ing of pow­er pro­duced with the help of renew­a­ble ener­gy sour­ces. Accord­ing to the SEWRC head, the agree­ments in ques­tion are not in com­pli­ance with the Trea­ty on the func­tion­ing of the Euro­pe­an Union.  
In end-May SEWRC asked Bul­gar­ia's Nation­al Elec­tric­i­ty Com­pa­ny (NEK) and the two US util­i­ties to begin nego­ti­a­tions to amend the long-term agree­ments signed on 13 June 2011. The pro­pos­al to AES Mar­itza East 1 was to reduce the over­all price of ener­gy by 30% and lib­er­al­ise the price of the pow­er gen­er­at­ed by one of its two oper­at­ing units. The respec­tive demand to Con­tour­Clob­al Mar­it­sa East 3 was for a 20% cut in elec­tric­i­ty pri­ces and lib­er­al­ised pri­ces of the out­put of two of the plant's four units.  
"We offered the Econ­o­my Min­is­ter an amend­ment to the exist­ing Ener­gy from Renew­a­ble Sour­ces Act that will enti­tle us to set annu­al pref­er­en­tial price quo­tas for pow­er man­u­fac­tur­ers using renew­a­ble ener­gy sour­ces," Boev said fur­ther. "The price of all oth­er types of ener­gy will be cal­cu­lat­ed on the sur­plus on the bal­an­cing mar­ket, which cur­rent­ly stands at BGN 30 per MWh," the SEWRC chair­per­son explained.
In his words mar­ket sur­veys showed that the out­put of the oper­a­tion­al green pow­er plants in Bul­gar­ia exceed­ed many times the 2020 bench­mark set by the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion despite the bur­den­some con­di­tions to end-con­sum­ers, the busi­ness and the nation­al ener­gy sys­tem.  
The cal­cu­la­tion of pref­er­en­tial pri­ces for eco-friend­ly util­i­ties did not match the ongo­ing trend for swift depre­ci­a­tion of return on invest­ments in their con­struc­tion, the com­plaint read fur­ther.

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