Project Promoter is the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) in Partnership with the Norwegian Regulator NVE

     „The Bulgarian-Norwegian Project performed for IMPLEMENTATION OF EURO ELECTRICITY MARKET IN BULGARIA - II PHASE plays an important role to support the establishment of a competitive electricity market in Bulgaria as fully integrated with the Internal European Market (IEM) for electricity an in conformity with the EU legislation and the commitments of the Agency for Cooperation of the Energy Regulators (ACER). By virtue of the common efforts of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), the Ministry of Energy, the Norwegian Regulator NVE, the Bulgarian Electricity System Operator (ESO) and the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX), their activities and roles were defined and structured in the on going process for full liberalization of the Bulgarian electricity market “. This was part of the statement of the ERWC Commissioner Evgenia Haritonova at the Final Conference carried out with regard of the wrap-up of the project, which was started in the end of the year 2014. It is financed according to Programme BG 04 „Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy “ of the EEA FM 2009 – 2014. The Ministry of Energy is Programme Operator and the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) is Beneficiary in partnership with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Norway – NVE. Participants in the Project are the companies of the Bulgarian Electricity System Operator (ESO) and the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX).

     Mrs. Evgenia Haritonova underlined that the main goals of the Project have been achieved: further development of the electricity market in Bulgaria by implementing a new market segment – the Day Ahead Market, as well as the elaboration of a Road Map for the stepwise integration of the Bulgarian electrical power market with the neighboring market zones. She outlined as especially important element of the project activities the development of efficient tools for the electricity market monitoring, aimed to guarantee equal treatment for all participants and to prevent market abuses. Within the Project framework evaluations have been elaborated for the development of the internal EU electricity market and for the status of the Bulgarian electrical power market. A specific organizational structure and activities have been developed for the market monitoring, which is a main function for EWRC in the Bulgarian electrical power market liberalization process. Also guidelines and recommendations for harmonization and amendment of the Electricity Market Rules have been elaborated in the light of the EU requirements and the new Network Codes in the field of the electricity market.

     The Final Conference was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Energy, state institutions, IBEX, ESO, NEK, companies from the electrical power sector, associations and unions of electricity traders, generators and industrial consumers, university directors and tutors of master degree programmes on energy sector management etc. The presentations of the Project participants provided and overview of the Project final results in conformity with their role and place for the Bulgarian electricity market liberalization. The statement of Energy Deputy-Minister Konstantin Delisivkov outlined as a most important part of the project the establishment of the electricity market in Bulgaria, IBEX in particular. He informed the audience the agreement reached with the Norwegian side for a second stage of the Programme BG 04 - 2014-2021 to focus on the sector of the Renewable Energy Sources, more precisely concerning the hydro power plants (HPPs) and the use of geothermal energy. The new programme period envisages also the participation of the national energy authority of Iceland.

     “One of the hardest challenges for EWRC is the regulation of the electrical power exchange and the cooperation with the neighboring markets”, said to the attending the event audience Ms. Gunn Oland from the Norwegian regulatory authority (NVE). In her opinion, it is of key importance to keep the REMIT rules and to conform with the measures undertaken by the Bulgarian regulator within the framework of its membership in the Association for Cooperation of the Energy Regulators (ACER). “A new trend is present in Europe to put at competitive basis the nominated national operators of the electricity market (NEMOs), which imposes to follow the connection between the operators, while the regulator shall be the one to provide monitoring. In our case the EWRC role will be the monitoring at national level and to carry out investigations with possibilities to impose penalties, as well as to provide strengthened control with regard to the licenses implementation. In this sense the wholesale and the retail markets shall be open to the public and shall provide full transparency, while the benefits for the industry and the private consumers shall be shared,” said Ms. Gunn Oland.

     Representatives from EWRC, IBEX and ESO took part in the Conference making presentations for the sector activities performed under the Bulgarian-Norwegian Project. The documents presented were the elaborated guidelines for the EWRC unit for market monitoring, containing practical instructions with regard to the procedures and the organization of the electricity market monitoring, and a Road Map for the period 2017-2020. IBEX and ESO presented the proposals elaborated under the Project for amendments in the Electricity Market Rules, introducing new market segments and contributing to the further market development towards integration at regional and European level. “The Intraday Market segment of the energy exchange is expected to start operation in January 2018”, announced Nikola Gabrovski from IBEX. The supplier for the Intraday Market operational platform is already selected and it is expected to sign a contract with the awarded participant in the beginning of March 2017.

     The Final Conference reported as part of the indicators for the successful completion of the Project the fact that in 2016 at the IBEX Day Ahead Market 2 515 808 MWh of electricity were traded, which is 5.5% of the total generated in the country amount. There is an increase in the number of the registered participants at the power exchange too – from 37 in April 2016 to 48 in December 2016.