Energy Act Amendments Pass First Reading in Bulgaria’s Parliament
Two bills introducing changes to Bulgaria’s Energy Act passed first reading in Parliament on Tuesday.
The two bills had been submitted by center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and right-wing formation the Reformist Bloc.
GERB’s bill envisages the establishment of an Electricity System Security Fund so as to guarantee the financial stability of Bulgaria’s energy system, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Television.
Under the proposal of GERB, the Fund is to be provisioned from contributions of all power producers amounting to 5% of the monthly revenues of these companies.
The resources of the Fund are to be used to compensate the deficit at the National Electric Company (NEK) and for the purchase of electricity under long-term contracts with renewable energy producers, co-generation facilities, and the two US-owned thermal power plants, AES-3C Maritza East 1 EOOD and Contur Global Maritsa Iztok-3.
GERB also proposes changes allowing the national power utility to only purchase electricity quantities matching the envisaged rate of return.
The amendments also allow the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR) to set individual tariffs for renewable energy producers on the basis of information provided by the Public Financial Inspection Agency (PFIA) as regards the correspondence of their investment costs to the preferential tariffs they benefit from.
Under the bill of the Reformist Bloc, Bulgaria’s government is to adopt an ordinance on the regulation, optimization, and publication of the expenses of energy companies with a state-owned or municipality-owned stake of 50% or more.
Martin Dimitrov from the Reformist Bloc argued that there had to be transparency in a sector with state-regulated prices.
According to the changes proposed by the right-wing formation, all energy sector contracts, including contract supplements and amendments, should be made public and companies are not entitled to benefit from commercial confidentiality.
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