From 1 January 2011, various changes to renewable energy laws have come into force, including:

  • a new withholding tax of 26% on Feed-in Tariffs and 28% on Green Bonuses is payable for 2011, 2012 and 2013 on electricity from solar power plants put into operation during 2009 and 2010 (except for those installed on buildings with capacity of no more than 30kW)
  • no subsidy is available for off-grid solar power plants (including those already in operation). Off-grid plants that connect to the grid during 2011 will qualify for a subsidy determined by the Energy Regulatory Office
  • the 2011 subsidy available for newly-operational wind, biomass and biogas projects will be similar to last year's tariffs, but significantly decreased for newly-operational solar energy projects (in all three new categories: those with installed capacity below 30 kW, 30 kW to100 kW and above 100 kW)
  • there is no limit on the tariff reduction that may be imposed on new renewable energy projects in the following years if the return of investment to those projects is less than 11 years (this already applied to 2011 prices but, before that, any year-on-year reduction was limited 5%)
  • the fees for removing land from the agricultural land fund (including for renewable energy purposes) have increased

Also, a completely new act on supported energy sources, which can bring substantial changes to the renewable energy sector, is being prepared and should be discussed by the government in January 2011 and subsequently could be approved by the Parliament. It is expected to be approved by July 2011 and to be effective as at 1 January 2012.

Law: amendments to Act No. 180/2005, on support for the use of renewable energy; Energy Regulatory Office Pricing decision No. 2/2010 on renewable energy subsidy to be provided for projects put into operation during 2011; amendment to Act No. 334/1992, on protection of agricultural land fund.

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The original publication date for this article was 11/01/2011.