Renewables To Lift Electricity Prices by 3-4% in 2013 – Regulator

Renewables To Lift Electricity Prices by 3-4% in 2013 – Regulator

Electricity prices in Bulgaria will rise by 3-4% next year due to higher-than-planned connection of renewable power sources to the grid, the head of the national energy regulator said.

"As of July 1, we based our estimates for the number of new renewable energy producers on the forecast made by electricity distributors but it turned out that they have connected more capacities to the power grid," the chairman of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission, Angel Semerdzhiev, told reporters on Tuesday.

Most of the excess capacities had been connected to the grid in the period from June 20 to June 29.

As a result of connecting excess renewable capacities state-owned power grid operator NEK and local electricity distribution companies have to pay more to green energy producers which is the reason why electricity prices will rise, said Semerdzhiev.

He also said that the new fees for access of renewable power producers to the grid, which Bulgaria introduced in September, may turn out to be insufficient to cover the losses of NEK and the power distributors from the feed-in tariffs (FiT), or the preferential prices at which they buy electricity generated from renewable sources. The feed-in tariffs are much higher than the price of electricity generated from conventional sources.

According to Semerdzhiev there is no need to offer fresh incentives to developers of renewable energy projects in Bulgaria as the country has already reached its indicative targets set by the EU.

Bulgaria must cover 16% of its gross energy consumption with electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2020 to meet goals set by the 27-nation bloc.

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