The energy ministry intends to increase the percentage siphoned from carbon emission right auction revenues to the renewable energy source (RES) special account in an effort to help eliminate the account’s deficit, according to energypress sources.
Instead of siphoning a 60 percent share, as had been originally intended, the figure to be rechanelled from the carbon emission right auction revenues to the RES special account will be raised to 70 percent through a ministerial decision expected to be signed within the next few days.
As for the remaining 30 percent of revenues raised by the emission right auctions, half of this amount will be used to fund a measure aiming to offset industrial enterprise costs linked to the carbon emission right auctions. Up until the end of 2015, the cost of this offsetting measure was entirely covered by the emission right auctions.
The remaining 15 percent will be used to fund other energy efficiency policies required by EU directives.
Despite the increase in the percentage to be withheld from revenues raised by carbon emission right auctions in order to finance the RES special account, the amounts injected into the account are not expected to suffice to fully eliminate its deficit. According to the latest report released by LAGIE, Electricity Market Operator, if no supportive interventions are made, the RES special account is expected to end 2016 with a deficit of 236.72 million euros, while, a further rise, to 374.91 million euros, is forecast by the end of 2017.
According to sector authorities, the RES special account’s deficit woes have resurfaced as a result of series of factors, primarily the fall in international emission right price levels, a drop in the demand for electricity, the drastic decline of the System Marginal Price (SMP) in the country’s wholesale electricity market, the latest drop in the RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge added to electricity bills, as well as a RES capacity increase, even if only modest.
Given that the RES special account’s deficit cannot be fully covered by the aforementioned increased percentage to be withheld from the emission right auctions, as well as the government’s rejection of any thoughts of an ETMEAR surcharge hike, other possible alternatives are now being looked at. Electricity supplier contributions are at the top of the list of priorities. RES producers whose units are overperforming are also being looked at.