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Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Chair: Grid Access Fee Is Fair

Business » ENERGY | November 6, 2012, Tuesday // 14:36| Views: 1072 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Chair: Grid Access Fee Is Fair Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has argued that the highly contested grid access fee is fair. Photo by BGNES

Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has argued that the introduction of the grid access fee for renewable energy producers helps to distribute the burden of the power price hike in a just manner.

In a Tuesday interview for the morning broadcast of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) he rejected accusations of renewable energy producers that the watchdog had introduced an unfair fee for access to the electricity grid.

He was adamant that the grid access fee introduced on November 14 would remain in place in the future to ensure that electricity producers could cover the expenses incurred by them.

The DKEVR Chair specified that the tariffs were temporary and the calculation of prices in the future would take a longer period of time.

"We are absolutely certain that we did the right thing and time will prove it," Semerdzhiev stated.

Asked whether there would be new power price hikes, Semerdzhiev pointed out that the only factor that could influence electricity price on a regulated market was a large amount of renewable energy which had to be bought at preferential tariffs.

"The main and most important reason which can lead to an increase in electricity prices is the large amount of photovoltaic parks which were connected to the grid," he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Nikola Gazdov, Chair of the Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association (BPA), called during the program to say that grid access fees for producers of renewable electricity were discriminatory and constituted an abnormal practice in the EU.

He reasoned that the introduction of the grid access fee was aimed at injecting money into power distributors to boost their profits.

Gazdov reminded that a number of Ambassadors and big banks had backed renewable electricity producers in the dispute with DKEVR.

He underscored that the European Commission had been notified about the matter and had started an inspection.

"We filed claims with the Supreme Court of Administration, the Commission for Protection of Competition, and the European Commission, but what cannot be remedied is the fact that the government in the face of Semerdzhiev showed that it does not follow its own rules," Gazdov said.

Semerdzhiev responded that he would ignore the personal attacks because they indicated a lack of other arguments.

"We are talking about producers who are paid at much higher tariffs than the actual price of electricity," the DKEVR Chair stated.

The head of the energy watchdog suggested that the price of electricity from renewable sources set in July 2011 had proved inadequate due to the decrease in investment spending.

He explained that the price of electricity from renewable sources set on July 2011 had proved inadequate due to the decrease in investment spending

Semerdzhiev assured that DKEVR would answer the questions filed by the EC about the formation of the grid access fee and the reasons behind its introduction by the end of the week.

He vowed that the response to the EC would highlight the need for the introduction of the new fee and added that the information would be published if it contained no classified information.

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Tags: State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR, Angel Semerdzhiev, power grid, renewable energy, electricity prices, Nikola Gazdov, Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association
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