‘NOME auctions have run their race, alternative required’

Nearly one third of the electricity amount offered to independent players at yesterday’s NOME auction remained unwanted, while bidding was non-existent, keeping prices flat at the recently elevated starting price of 58.12 euros per MWh throughout the session.

The absence of any bidding activity prompted officials to write off the future prospects of the NOME tool as a market opener and note that an alternative system must be found.

A total of 763 MW was offered to participants but 214 MW was not purchased.

“The NOME auctions have reached the end of their road,” Dinos Benroubi, head official at the Mytilineos group’s Protergia energy company, told an industry panel at an Economist conference in Athens. “This shows that NOME prices, determined by – and reflecting – lignite production, are no longer the way to open up the market…The NOME auctions have exhausted their limits and cannot be used as a tool to open up the retail electricity market,” the official continued, while adding that a new system needs to be introduced.

Full competition without total access to all energy sources is not possible, Benroubi highlighted, while noting that it is up to the country’s authorities to prepare and implement a new system.

The next NOME auction, scheduled for October, is planned to offer participants a record-level electricity amount of 1,029 MW, which includes a penalty quantity for the power utility PPC’s failure to meet an electricity market share contraction target included in the country’s bailout terms. Given the results of yesterday’s NOME auction, the outcome of the October session is already being seen as a foregone conclusion.