Romania to scrap export and import electricity transmission tariffs
Romanian energy regulator ANRE is planning to scrap zonal transmission tariffs paid by traders to export and import electricity from 2014.
Currently, these tariffs vary depending on the zone from which the power is brought from or to.
In the case of exports, the level of the tariff has increased by 12% on average year on year. The rise of this component translates into total export costs to neighbouring countries rising by more than 9% (see EDEM 8 January 2013).
"Starting with the third regulatory period which will cover the years 2014-2019, the Romanian regulatory authority ANRE intends to exempt the corresponding component of the transmission tariff for the imported/exported electricity," the regulator said in an emailed statement to ICIS on Friday.
"My perception is, it's not clear if they will cancel [the tariff] or not. If they do, then [TSO] Transelectrica [might need to] recover the loss from the internal market, that means household prices will be increased, and they are already high," one Romanian trader commented.
Furthermore, the import and export of electricity is not subject to the amended electricity law that restricts electricity trading in Romania only to local exchange OPCOM, according to another statement published on ANRE's website on Wednesday.
Ever since ANRE officially banned trading in Romania on any platform other than OPCOM (see EDEM 18 September 2012) traders have been confused whether or not the import and export of electricity is also restricted. Some sources previously said they stopped their cross-border activities because of the uncertainty.
ANRE's statement stipulated that the law does not contain provisions which regulate the import-export transactions of electricity, but applies only to transactions taking place on the Romanian market.
"Extensive interpretation of article 23 line one from the law drives to building up an administrative barrier in electricity cross-border trading, and it is known that these activities comply with the EU law regarding eliminating any restrictions towards a common electricity market," the statement added.
Traders agreed that the last paragraph was unclear and was subject to different interpretations.
"So they say that taking the law too seriously doesn't comply with the EU laws. So implicit, they say that EU law applies," a third Romanian trader noted.
"[ANRE] are in a bit of an impossible situation. The law can work for the internal market but can't be applied to import and export," one trader said. Another source said that he never considered the law a problem when it came to export since it was technically done outside of the country.
"I never considered [exports] a transaction. What you do outside in Hungary for example is not regulated by Romanian laws," he remarked. He added that even though some traders claimed they were not exporting because they were confused by the law, nobody stopped exporting judging by the amount of transmission rights bought since the law came into force.
ANRE was unavailable for further comment on Friday evening. IP
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