December 12 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria’s utilities regulator announced the implementation of AI-based energy market analysis software, jointly developed with IBM and its local partner IBS Bulgaria, in collaboration with the EU’s agency for Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT), starting from January 2024.

The software model uses real historical data from standard contracts for the supply of electricity or gas to detect predefined market manipulations in wholesale energy trading, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) said on Friday.

“With the sharp increase in traded volumes on the energy exchange, to be effective from July 1, 2024, the model will provide greater speed and efficiency in investigating potential abuses by market participants,” EWRC chairman Ivan Ivanov said. The adoption of the new energy market analysis model is deemed crucial, especially considering the substantial rise in wholesale market transactions for electricity and gas since 2022, along with the increasing number of market participants.

The energy regulator has so far levied aggregate fines of 3.5 million levs ($1.9 million/1.8 million euro) on nine companies found to have been in breach of EU regulations for trading on the country’s wholesale electricity market, with the most recent penalty announced last month.

In October, the Bulgarian parliament adopted amendments to energy laws in order to liberalise the country’s energy market. As of July 1, 2024, the National Electric Company (NEK) will cease to act as a public provider and producer quotas for the regulated market will be abolished. This will lead to the annual trading of an additional 12.2 TWh of electricity on the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX), according to an earlier statement by the regulator.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)

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