EU takes Bulgaria to court
The European Commission is to launch a court procedure against Bulgaria for non-compliance with European legislation in the field of renewable energy and biodiversity.
The move, which means that Bulgaria could be fined, is the last stage of proceedings launched by Brussels as Sofia was asked several times to implement national legislation in line with European standards.
The Renewable Energy Directive calls for authorities to implement schemes which help businesses and citizens develop clean energy, so that it reaches at least 32% of the EU's energy consumption.
Massive profits for Bulgaria from exporting electricity
Bulgaria has earned about BGN 6.1 billion in 2022 from the export of electricity to neighboring countries. This equates to nearly 4% of the estimated GDP for the year. Export revenues are almost three times more compared to the previous year, when they totalled BGN 2.1 billion or 1.55% of GDP.
High prices, lower production in Europe and the fact that it generates more electricity than it consumes are among the reasons why Bulgaria ranks as a leading net exporter. The electricity sold abroad totaled more than 12 million mWh for the year.
To a large extent, the positive outcome derives from steep electricity prices, which last year were on average 2.3 times higher than those in 2021.
Loan portfolios of banks shrink
Even though the market has been booming lately, Bulgarian banks finished 2022 with reduced lending activity. Such a conclusion can be drawn from the data from the "Monetary Statistics" of the BNB, although end of year accounting may interfere with the final numbers.
In general, the credit portfolios of the sector shrank for December, albeit by a minimum of BGN 13.5 million to BGN 74.27 billion. This also reduces growth on an annual basis to 12.2% from 13% in November. The decline is widespread in all segments, although more severe in corporate loans. This can also be explained by the faster transfer of the rising interest rates from the ECB.