The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission Chairman was among the main speakers at the international conference "Liberalization of the electricity market - Bulgaria in regional and European context"

    "Achieving full electricity market liberalization in Bulgaria requires a number of preliminary steps, including the development of a new market model, roadmap and significant amendments of the Energy Act. Internally, the power exchange liquidity is important and regionally - taking steps to market coupling." That was stated by EWRC Chairman Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov to the participants in the international conference "Liberalization of the electricity market - Bulgaria in regional and European context." The forum was attended by leading energy experts from Europe and representatives of EU institutions, governmental officials, business representatives, energy sector generators, trade unions, and industry and consumer organizations.

    In his presentation in Panel 1 - " Market Liberalization in Bulgaria and Central and Eastern Europe in the context of EU requirements", EWRC Chairman stressed that over the past two years with the active efforts of the parliament, the executive authority and the energy regulator significant reforms in the energy sector of the country were made - equitable distribution of the “public service obligation” charge was implemented and “Security of electricity system” Fund was created. Electricity Market Rules had been amended and that gave legal possibilities for the start of the power exchange and consequently households received a real opportunity to enter the open market.

    A new, stable and long-term energy strategy with horizon until 2050 is needed, as the current strategy is based on unrealistic forecasts of electricity consumption growth and includes the implementation of large energy projects that are economically and financially unreasonable, said in his presentation Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov. The strategy must take into account new EU targets set out with the creation of the European Energy Union. What is needed is realism of the national objectives – only the need of replacement capacities in view of the chronic overgeneration, focusing on energy efficiency enhancement and alleviating the financial position of NEK.

    The Chairman of the Energy Regulator pointed out the energy vulnerable consumers issue as one of the major challenges in the process of full liberalization. The measures developed in 2016 jointly between the Ministry of Energy, EWRC and the European Commission, are in line with EU Directives and yet this issue is to be finally resolved with urgent legislative changes, said Ivanov. Considering the role of the energy regulator following the electricity market liberalization, he outlined its main functions - electricity market monitoring, supervising the licenses performance, setting the public service obligation charge and the network tariffs regulation.

    In the specialized panels as speakers at the conference participants were: the ACER Director (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) Alberto Potochnig; Janez Kopac, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat; Christian Ruby, Secretary General of EURELECTRIC; prof. Pippo Ranchi, chief adviser in Florence School of Regulation in Italy; Steven Woodhouse of Pöyry Management Consulting, UK; Fabien Rock - Senior vice President, Compass Lexecon Paris office; Konstantin Konstantinov, CEO of Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange and others.