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11.06.2015 16:34
Nearly 6,000 Consumers on the Liberalised Electricity Market (Bulgarian TSO)
Victoria Popovska of the Bulgarian TSO warned that introducing a higher fee for "obligations to society" would hamper exports again, as in 2013

  • © Umberto Salvagnin,

The Bulgarian liberalised electricity market counts 5,917 consumers and 68 traders, data of the Electricity System Operator (ESO) for the end of May, 2015, show. While the fundamental model of Bulgaria’s electricity market is compatible with the practices of other European countries, it still has to be developed, in terms mostly of power exchange, Victoria Popovska, head of the Electricity Market department of ESO, said during the annual conference “Industry, Energy and Environment”, organised by the Srednogorie Industrial Cluster. and Utilities magazine are media partners of the event.

“We have to think towards getting the low voltage consumers on the liberalised market, and we need a new standard for metering data exchange”, Ms. Popovska stressed.

Bulgarian wholesale electricity price comparable to prices in other EU countries

The price of electricity on the liberalised market is close to the current levels on other European markets, as hourly prices vary between EUR 30 – 40 per MWh, Ms. Popovska said. The TSO’s data show that for the first two quarters of 2016 there is no upward tendency for power prices on European forward markets, which could be read as sign for the trend in Bulgaria as well.

Despite being relatively new to the electricity market liberalization, if Bulgaria introduces the planned higher fee for “obligations to society” (public service obligations), ESO will be charging the second biggest such fee in Europe, next to Denmark. It has been severely criticised by industrial consumers and power traders in the recent days.

“The responsible institutions should seriously re-think this imbalanced policy and whether society could support this expense”, Ms. Popovska said, highlighting that in 2014 there was a 53 percent surge in power exports after the abolition of the fee for export-bound electricity. Production also grew, with as much as 8 percent, compared to 2013, she added.

Balancing energy market calms down

Due to certain changes in the legal framework, the prices for balancing energy have significantly calmed down. As of the beginning of 2015, the tendency for negative prices for surplus is no longer observed, while shortage costs have been confined to normal levels, Ms. Popovska said. What is more, the energy system has the potential to include more large-scale consumers as balancing entities.

“Stomana Industry” has been offering balancing services as a consumer – switching on or off consumers according to the orders of the Central Dispatch Unit of ESO. There is a possibility for other consumers to join this practice, but the technical parameters and economic benefits should be estimated before adding another consumer for such purpose”, Ms. Popovska said.

Another recent development has been the advancement of day-ahead schedules. According to Ms. Popovska, day-ahead nominating could happen in Bulgaria as of mid-2016.

“After the respective tests, we will be able to do day-ahead schedules as of mid-2016”, she said.

TAGS: Bulgaria | electricity market | electricity exchange | power exchane | TSO | Electricity System Operator | market data | electricity | power market | day-ahead 

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