Bulgaria, Energy subsidies to remain after March

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian Minister of Economy Kornelia Ninova said that the subsidies being provided to businesses in order to offset high electricity prices will remain available after March.

Minister Ninova said that a new mechanism of support to businesses will be set up by the end of April, adding that the state aid intended to offset rising energy prices will be increased as well.

Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov said that the main idea is to use the current business support mechanism in a way that allows predictability and alleviates worry. The concrete parameters of the size of compensation and how it will be provided will be discussed by the end of this week, and the way the mechanism will continue to work will become clear early next week. He noted that not just short-term mechanisms, but also long-term solutions will be sought in order to give the businesses clarity at least a year into the future.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov stressed that, unlike the current situation in which commercial consumers buy electricity on the day-ahead market, the new mechanism will stimulate long- term electricity contracts. Thus, market fluctuations will be overcome and there will be an increase in the share of long-term contracts.

Bulgarian Employers’ Associations welcomed the move, but want the compensation cap for high electricity prices for business users to be abandoned. According to them, the compensation scheme until the end of March is far from sufficient, employers said. The scheme sets the compensation at 75 % of the difference between the real market price for the respective month on the day-ahead market of the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) and the real market price for July 2021 (94.7 euros/MWh), but not more than 127.5 euros/MWh.