Bulgaria's Energy Minister Refutes 3% Power Price Hike from July 2013
Bulgaria's Energy and Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev has said that it is too early to predict an electricity price hike in 2013
Dobrev commented on a Tuesday statement of Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) that power rates would increase by at least 3% from July 2013.
Dobrev suggested that Semerdzhiev's forecast was based on compensating for higher renewable energy expenses for the period up to July 1, 2012.
He noted, however, that there had been next to no contracts for connecting renewable energy producers to the grid after the decreases in renewable energy prices from July 1, 2012 and September 1, 2012.
Bulgaria's Energy Minister reminded that the grid access fee had compensated for part of the expenses.
"In my opinion it is too early to draw conclusions for electricity prices from July 1, 2013. There is a lot of time to go and we must see the picture at a later stage," Dobrev commented.
Asked who was responsible for the fact that licenses had been issued for 89 MWh of the capacity connected to the grid by July 1, while the other smaller plants of up to 700 MW had only required the approval of power distributors, the Minister explained that the situation had developed according to a law from 2008.
Тогава е заложено, че ЕРП-ата нямат право да отказват на всеки инвеститор в сектора, определени са преференциални цени, които са много над инвестиционните разходи, създадена е среда за инвеститори от целия свят.
He explained that the legal regime from 2008 stipulated that power distributors had no right to refuse investors in the renewable energy sector, it introduced preferential tariffs way above the investment costs, and created an environment which brought together investors from all over the world.
Dobrev argued that the projects had been restricted as much as possible and only 5-10% of the contracts had been implemented.
He nevertheless drew attention to the burden of renewable energy projects implemented too early in the period by 2020 given to Bulgaria to implement commitments to the EU.
Dobrev suggested that if the law from 2008 had not been made so as to stimulate the development of renewable energy in the first years of the period and had been drafted in 2015, now it was obvious that the price of energy from sun and wind is close to the energy produced by conventional plants
"If the law had not been drafted in 2008 so as to encourage the development of renewable energy in the first years of the period but had been drafted in 2015 instead, the current price of photovoltaic and wind energy is much closer to the market price of conventional types of energy," Bulgaria's Energy Minister declared.
Dobrev claimed that both power distributors and the National Electric Company (NEK) had been affected by misguided forecasts, adding that the energy watchdog had to take steps to decide what would be done to remedy the situation.
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