Bulgaria's GERB Seeks to Scrap Special Prices for New Renewable Energy Sources
Senior coalition partner GERB has tabled amendments to the Energy Act removing the preferential prices paid by state-owned energy utility NEK to buy electricity from new renewable energy sources.
Delyan Dobrev, a former Economy Minister now heading Parliament's Energy Committee, believes green energy capacities that have been built after the amendments should not enjoy the same privilege which obliges the National Electricity Company (NEK) to pay more for their energy.
The special status of renewable-energy producers was established during GERB's previous term (2009-2013) to provide incentives for the sector's development in line with EU requirements. Opposition lawmakers, on the other hand, called the move an act of "lobbyism" benefiting certain entrepreneurs allegedly affiliated to the government.
Now the former minister argues the national target about the share of renewables in the energy mix has been reached and no further stimuli are needed.
In Dobrev's words, the present proposal does not include any changes to conditions agreed currently with green-energy producers in order not to violate existing contracts.
Special prices will not be revoked for producers using biomass containing at leaast 65% animal waste, but building more such capacities in Bulgaria does not hold much potential, the Bulgarian News Agency BTA quotes Dobrev as saying.
Dobrev added that urgent measures were needed to tackle the deficit at the National Electricity Company (NEK), which is still mounting up.
In his words, GERB will also propose that revenues from trade in carbon emissions, expected at BGN 250 M, should be spend on reducing the deficit only.
The ruling axis is presently working on substantial amendments to the Energy Act
Amendments that have been passed at a first reading include changes to the energy watchdog, the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR). If these are approved, the regulator will de divided into to subcommittees and its members will be elected by Parliament.
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