Change in Bulgaria's Energy Mix to Reduce Power Tariffs Substantially – NPP CEO
Valentin Nikolov, CEO of the Kozloduy NPP, has argued that a change in the energy mix could bring about a substantial reduction in electricity prices in Bulgaria.
Nikolov, as cited by the Focus news agency, explained that the change had to be introduced by amendments to the Energy Act, meaning that Bulgaria's Parliament had to amend a number of concrete provisions concerning the energy mix as fast as possible.
He argued, however, that the resignation of the center-right GERB government, which was approved by Parliament on Thursday, created doubts whether these amendments would be voted in Parliament.
Nikolov claimed that Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) had to exercise greater control over monopolies because this was precisely what a state energy regulator was meant to do.
The CEO of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant emphasized that the DKEVR had to step in, given the growing public discontent and the fact that the people were unable to read their electricity bills.
Nikolov suggested that an Energy Ombudsman could have solved the problem by making the connection with civil society.
"As a matter of fact, Directive 2009/72/EC points out that there must be an Energy Ombudsman because civil society must be absolutely clear about what is happening there and be able to control the process," he emphasized.
Meanwhile, Yuliana Ivanova, outgoing Chair of Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), suggested earlier on Friday that a change in electricity prices could not be expected before April 1.
Ivanova refused to commit to a concrete forecast about a reduction in power rates.
Prior to announcing the collective resignation of the center-right GERB government on Thursday, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, seeking to quell a wave of nationwide mass protests over high electricity and heating bills, vowed that power rates would drop by 8% from March 1, provided that DKEVR approved the step.
On the very next day, however, energy experts commented that this could only happen through a change in the energy mix which would involve including all the energy produced by the Kozloduy NPP and taking out capacities producing more expensive electricity.
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