A landmark Bill for Amendment and Supplement to the Energy Act was voted in Parliament on 26 April 2018, and promulgated on 8 May 2018 in State Gazette.
The key features of the amendments include the following:
1. The feed-in tariffs for RES with installed capacity of 4 MW or above will be transformed into feed-in premiums. The same transition will apply equally to electricity generated from highly efficient co-generation (Co-Gen) with installed capacity of 4 MW or above;2. Feed-in premiums will be implemented by new contracts for premium payments (to be signed by 30 June 2018). The mechanism of these contracts confers powers on the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (“EWRC /the regulator”) to determine both the premium payments and the forecast market price annually, where:a) the premium payment will be determined by EWRC as the difference between the former feed-in tariff and the forecast market prices; and
From 1 July 2018, RES and Co-Gen will operate on the liberalized segment of the market (through the power exchange) and they will receive compensation for the difference between the forecast market price and the former feed-in tariffs.b) the forecast market prices will be determined by EWRC and varied for the different types of renewable energy technology.
3. The former feed-in counterparty (offtaker) will be replaced (i.e. public supplier and end suppliers). From 1 July 2018, the Electricity Security Fund (the “Fund”) will become the financial counterparty to all contracts for premium payments;4. The Fund will collect directly the public obligation charge under Article 30, (1), item 17 (which includes the charge for compensation of RES costs and stranded costs). The National Electricity Company (“NEK”) will no longer have standing to collect these proceeds, and traders, power generators and grid operators will remit the proceeds directly to the Fund;5. RES and Co-Gens with installed capacity below 4 MW will not be affected by the legislative changes and their feed-in support will remain unchanged (i.e. the end suppliers will be the counterparty operating as offtakers and liable to pay the feed-in tariffs);6. The overhaul of the existing renewable energy support model will be notified to the European Commission (EC) pursuant to Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);7. Other notable changes include:
a) Owners of licensed energy undertakings shall report to EWRC any intentions to undertake corporate division, separation, spin off, merger or otherwise divest of shareholding interest exceeding 20%, or transfer of assets of an energy undertaking;b) EWRC will approve transfers of shareholding interest exceeding 20% from the registered capital of licensed grid operators for electricity, heating and naturals gas;c) NEK will no longer supply transmission companies at regulated tariffs for transmission losses and NEK should be expected to have lower demand requirements for electricity;d) EWRC may be approached by any market participant or public authorities with allegations for infringement of REMIT. EWRC will then undertake investigations on the basis of its new powers.
Investigated undertakings or other parties involved may not invoke commercial or trade secrets defense against information inquiries from the regulator.