Electricity in Bulgaria on Sunday, February 26, in the interval from 12:00 to 14:00, cost less than 1 euro per MWh. The reasons for this are the usual lower demand during the weekend, but also strong winds, sunny weather and high temperatures for this good time of year.
The average daily day-ahead price in Bulgaria also fell to the lowest level in the last month – 141.48 BGN (72.34 EUR) per MWh. That is the lowest price since January 20 and the third lowest price since the beginning of 2023. Also, the Bulgarian and Romanian market is the cheapest in all of Europe on Sunday. Prices in other European countries have also fallen and are around 100-110 euros per megawatt-hour.
The average Bulgarian wholesale electricity price so far in February is 141.7 euros per MWh. This is, on the one hand, good for companies in the country, but it is a problem for electricity producers, especially coal-fired power plants. They become uncompetitive, given that the minimum price that is profitable for them is over 150 euros per MWh.
The main reason for this is the price of CO2 emission permits, which in recent days has reached 100 euros per ton.
With the expected boom in investments in renewable energy sources for own consumption (mainly solar panels), the situation on the electricity market will further change. On sunny days, companies will be able to produce a significant part of the required energy themselves, which will reduce overall consumption.
According to data from the Electric Power System Operator, since the beginning of 2023, Bulgaria has recorded a 1.5 percent drop in electricity consumption in the country, and exports to neighboring countries have decreased by as much as 45 percent.
The extremely low price of natural gas in recent weeks has also contributed to a decrease in demand for electricity from coal-fired thermal power plants and, consequently, to a decrease in electricity exports from Bulgaria.
After gas was traded for almost 300 euros per MWh in 2022, gas prices are currently hovering around 50 euros per MWh. This allows gas-fired power plants, which were often out of commission in previous years, to now run longer and offer cheaper electricity compared to coal-fired power plants.