Brussels opposes minister’s interest in RES surcharge cut

A European Commission report emerging as part of Greece’s second post-bailout review opposes any changes to a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge paid by all electricity consumers through electricity bills as a result of growing delays in payments to renewable energy producers for their output.

Two months earlier, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis commissioned RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to examine the feasibility of an ETMEAR surcharge reduction.

The minister was looking for a way to offset possible electricity tariff hikes at the main power utility PPC, which has expressed an interest to adopt a CO2-related clause enabling price hikes whenever emission right costs exceed certain levels.

Earlier this week, Stathakis was more opposed than ever before to any tariff hikes at state-controlled PPC. The power utility ought to look into other revenue-boosting solutions, such as an intensified collection effort for its unpaid receivables, the minister noted.

In its report, the European Commission expressed great concern over PPC’s long-term financial standing. The power utility faces a 350 million-euro bond payment at the end of April.

Plans by PPC to head to capital markets now appear doubtful. The power utility was initially planning to offer investors a new company bond in February before opting for March.