A new supplier surcharge model to be introduced in 2019 and an adjusted NOME auction system whose shape will be determined by the degree of progress of the main power utility PPC’s upcoming bailout-required sale effort of lignite units are the main issues to be worked on by lender technocrats and energy ministry officials today ahead of a meeting tomorrow between energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and the troika.
The upcoming privatization of DEPA, the public gas corporation, will not be tabled at today’s session.
Officials participating in today’s meeting will seek to bridge the gap on energy-sector issues, especially the supplier surcharge replacement plan, which appears to be the most demanding task of all.
The lenders are pressuring for a simple, clear-cut solution that would abolish the existing RES-supporting supplier surcharge and offset the loss by increasing the ETMEAR surcharge paid by consumers for support of the RES special account managed by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator.
As a concession, the lenders have already offered an alternative that would not increase the ETMEAR surcharge for consumers but have them pay an alternative fee of equivalent worth.
The pressure applied by the troika on this matter is based on a general principle requiring clarity on the level of RES support, through surcharges paid by consumers, in all countries.
Maintaining an even more adamant stance, the energy ministry has rejected the prospect of increased RES-support payments by consumers through the ETMEAR surcharge or any other means. Stathakis, the energy minister, prefers a model through which suppliers will keep providing RES support payments.
A hybrid plan combining the demands set by both sides appears to have been tabled and could provide common ground for an agreement.
This plan would set quotas for suppliers, who, depending on their market shares, will be required to use certain amounts of renewable energy for their supply needs. Based on this model, suppliers will need to purchase ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates), whose proceeds will be injected into the RES special account.