Warning after Bulgaria cuts wind farm tariffs

BULGARIA: Energy regulator SWERC has decided to cut tariffs for all existing wind energy projects by ten per cent and those for solar even more, in a move Bulgarian wind energy association BGWEA says will push the majority of renewable energy projects into bankruptcy and could endanger the country's financial stability.

The association says it will take legal action to fight the measure, which is just the latest piece of bad news for Bulgaria’s wind sector.

The retroactive measure was approved in a closed meeting of the regulator Friday evening.

According to SWERC, the tariff cut represents necessary "fees for difficulties of integrating fluctuating renewable energy into the electricity grid." 

Tariff cuts will go into effect tomorrow.

The tariff reduction will be particularly onerous for the country’s most recently commissioned wind farms and those about to come online. SWERC had already cut the feed-in-tariff (FIT) for wind projects commissioned from July 1 onwards by some 20%.

"The message to any investor in any sector in Bulgaria is clear: what the law promises you today can be retroactively revoked tomorrow," says BGWEA executive director Sebastian Noethlichs.

"Investing in Bulgaria no longer means investing in a stable, reliable, European market but in a wild, chaotic market where every investor is at the mercy of a non-transparent, secretive government."

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