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27.07.2015 14:10
Industry and Syndicates Demand Power Price Hike Offset by Jan 1, 2016
The industry is hoping that the protest planned for July 29 will result in the re-estimation of the pricing policy of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission and in the forging of a roadmap for the Bulgarian energy sector aimed at short- and medium-term results

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Bulgarian industrial employers’ organisations and syndicates demanded on Monday that the electricity price hike planned to take effect as of August 1 be postponed by January 1, 2016. If the “Obligations to Society” price component which covers RES feed-in tariffs and the heft of two PPAs is increased from BGN 19 to BGN 40/MWh (about EUR 20/MWh), large industrial consumer will be rendered uncompetitive and will have to lay off people, the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB) said today during a special press conference. Their demand is also supported by two of the biggest syndical organisations - Confederation of Labor “Podkrepa” ("Support") and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (KNSB/CITUB).

Although the industry already managed once to postpone the new pricing period with a month in July, the industrial associations once more expressed their dissatisfaction with the recent amendments to the Bulgarian Energy Act which, in their view will further the burden of bellow-actual-level electricity prices for households on the business. While there are some alleviation foreseen for the largest industrial power consumers, which use more than 10 GWh of energy/year, the best part of the industry will have to pay the higher prices, Konstantin Stamenov of Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEC) said. The industry also expressed its support for the government's plan to cut feed-in tariffs and the quantities of high-efficiency CHP the state-owned National Electricity Company is obliged to buy at a loss.

As a result a nation-wide protest in 29 cities, both in the form of rallies in the streets and energy consumption curbing was announced for July 29, Wednesday. The industry is hoping that the protest will result in the re-estimation of the pricing policy of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission and in the forging of a roadmap for the Bulgarian energy sector aimed at short- and medium-term results.

RES lobbying said to further the energy sector crisis in Bulgaria

According to the industrial associations, while the government has accepted their proposal for a buffer fund aimed at reducing the deficits at the National Electricity Company, MPs have set the grounds for new renewable energy burdens on the system with new obligations towards biomass and manure energy generating installations. The industrial power consumers argued that this new engagement with a small particular fraction of renewable energy technology is the result of private interest among MPs that would create a new “balloon”, in the manner of the uncontrolled Bulgarian PV boom in 2009 – 2012.
The industry has also demanded that the government take measures to decrease the expenses in the National Electricity Company (NEK).

TAGS: Bulgaria | energy power price | protest | industry | industial power consumers | RES | renewables | CHP | feed-in tariff | Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers 

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