Bulgaria ends 20% renewables charge

BULGARIA: Bulgaria's Constitutional Court has struck down a controversial 20% charge on the income of wind and solar photovoltaic plants, agreeing it was unconstitutional and providing some relief for the country's renewable industry.

Enel's 21MW Shabla wind farm in Bulgaria
Enel's 21MW Shabla wind farm in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian wind energy association (BGWEA) welcomed the ruling. It had argued before the court that the 20% fee was openly discriminatory against the wind and solar industries and contrary to Bulgaria's European Union commitments.

However, despite the positive ruling, renewable energy producers will not be able to recoup payments already made, BGWEA noted, while a number of other factors are expected to impede future development of the sector.

In a progress report last December on its national renewable energy action plan, Bulgaria's energy ministry said it had already reached its 2020 renewable energy goals and the government has clearly been in no rush to encourage new renewable capacity.

The energy regulator stipulated last month that no wind and solar plants above 200 kW could be grid connected in the next 12 months. BGWEA believes that existing feed-in-tariffs (FiT) are insufficient, while new balancing costs have weighed on producers since June.

Bulgaria has around 680MW of installed wind capacity. However, it has not installed any new capacity over the last year.

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