Forthcoming changes concerning biomass plants

According to the current legal provisions only new power plants which correspond to the below -mentioned requirements could benefit from the compulsory purchase of electricity at preferential prices. These are power plants with combined cycle and indirect use of biomass which shall be constructed in urbanized territories, agricultural sites and production area and:

  1. having installed capacity up to 1,5 MW and indirect use of biomass as 60% of the overall weight of the biomass shall be animal manure, or
  2. having installed capacity of up to 500 kW for production of energy with indirect use of biomass of plant waste from own production.

The above preference continues to apply for biomass plants, as described above, which will be put into exploitation by 30 June 2016. With the transitional and final provisions of the Bill for Amendments to the Agricultural Lands Protection Act, adopted on first reading on 23.09.2015, the Parliament is expected to review on a second reading amendments in the preferential purchase of electricity from biomass. As a result of the expected amendments the purchase of electricity at preferential prices is expected to be cancelled for all biomass electricity plants that are not commissioned until 01.01.2016.

Meanwhile, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) shall review proposed amendments to the currently effective preferential prices for electricity produced from biomass plants. New, significantly lower prices shall be subject to a public discussion that shall take place on 21.10.2015. The new prices are expected to enter into effect from 1 November 2015.

The plants affected from potential decrease in preferential prices shall be plants having installed capacity up to 1,5 MW and indirect use of biomass as 60% of the overall weight of the biomass shall be animal manure. The proposal provides significant decrease of their power purchase price, as follows:

  • from BGN 483,81 per MWh (currently effective price as from 01.07.2015) to BGN 340,69 per MWh – for power plants having installed capacity up to 500 kW; and
  • from BGN 450,09 MWh (currently effective price as from 01.07.2015) to BGN 306,28 per MWh – for the power plants having installed over 500 kW to 1,5 MW.

Decrease in the preferential prices is suggested also for power plants with combined cycle and indirect use of biomass from plant waste from own production having installed capacity up to 500 kW – from BGN 397,09 per MWh (currently effective price as from 01.07.2015) to BGN 309.11 per MWh. The decrease is grounded on significant changes in the pricing elements according to EWRC’s report.