The deficit of payments to RES producers will reach UAH 18.8 billion by the end of the year. Where does the state get this money?

On August 1, 2020, the Law №810 came into force, which was prepared on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the associations of the renewable energy sector and the Government of Ukraine.

On the same day, NEURC decided to reduce the «feed-in» tariff in accordance with the new law. Such step from the NEURC side was expected, as it was spelled in the Memorandum and the Law. This was necessary in order to reduce the financial burden on SE “Guaranteed Buyer” and as one of the measures to stabilize the full payments to RES producers, who from March to August received up to 10% of the total amount.

RES producers received 65% of the expected payments of the SE  “Guaranteed Buyer» for the last month. Unfortunately, the situation will not get better. According to forecasts of payments, in the coming months will be at the level of about 55%.

Incomplete calculations occur for the following reasons:

  1. The tariff for the electricity transmission service provided by the Transmission System Operator (TSO) “NEC” Ukrenergo “in the amount of UAH 240 per MWh, insufficient to ensure full current settlements with RES producers.This tariff is one of the main sources for payments for electricity produced from RES. It is estimated that it should be at the level of UAH 350-400 MWh, to ensure full payments if there are no additional sources of funding.
  2. TSO receivables and inefficient special liability system (PSO) and shortcomings in the current structure of the electricity market. In particular, SE “Guaranteed Buyer” sold only about half of the electricity produced from RES on the day-ahead market (DAM), and the other half in the Balancing Market on absolutely unfavorable terms. It sells electricity that is not sold at DAM with a discount of 45% to the price of DAM and with a delay in payments.

Potential sources of covering the current account deficit, which will amount to UAH 9.8 billion by the end of December:

– The increase of transmission tariff of «Ukrenergo» – can be approved by the Regulator.

– 20% co-financing of payments to RES producers from the state budget (according to the adopted Law №810 in July 2020) – the Government will need to include this in the state budget for 2021.

Among other things, the Memorandum provides for the resumption of full current payments to RES producers, starting in August 2020. As well as repayment of accumulated debts (UAH 22.4 billion) from March to August this year – 40% of the total debt by the end of 2020 and 60% in equal parts quarterly during 2021.

Potential sources of debt coverage to RES producers for March-August (estimated amount of UAH 22.4 billion, and before payment of 40% by the end of 2020 UAH 9 billion):

  • Loans of state banks for TSO (which will allow TSO to transfer money further to SE “Guaranteed Buyer»);
  • Government-issued bonds (provisions specifically for this were added to Law 810 in July) – details of this mechanism should be developed by the government;
  • Loans from international financial institutions of the TSO – but last week (September 17) the Verkhovna Rada rejected a government bill drafted by the Ministry of Finance, , on the provision of state guarantees for international crediting of projects in the field of electricity by the decision of the government. By the way – the EBRD is very upset by this situation.

Without the Ministry of Finance, it is very difficult to develop concepts and prepare initiatives to find and raise funds to pay debts to RES electricity producers.

It is therefore desirable that these issues be taken up by the Ministry of Finance because it knows better than other public authorities about the opportunities and obstacles to public finance management.