A sharp rise in the surcharge paid by electricity suppliers into the renewable energy (RES) special account, which shot up to 42 euros per MWh in the second week of January, well over expected levels, has raised market concerns.
Though the thinking behind this surcharge is well-intentioned as its objective is to narrow the RES special account deficit, which, if left unattended, would threaten to derail the entire energy market, action is needed to better control the resulting price levels.
According to sources, the energy ministry has acknowledged that the current situation is creating problems not only because of the elevated surcharge prices but also as a result of the instability, which is making it impossible for suppliers to estimate their operating costs.
The current surcharge prices are now well over the 6.50 euros per MWh level estimated as being appropriate in a study conducted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on behalf of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, prior to the current surcharge system’s introduction last summer as part of RES sector revisions.
The average surcharge price, revised weekly, has steadily increased over the past few months. It averaged 4.4 euros per MWh in October, 10.62 euros per MWh in November and 15.58 euros per MWh in December. In January, the surcharge price reached 17.50 euros per MWh in the first week before skyrocketing to 42 euros per MWh in the second week.