On 4 September 2012, the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism published a draft National Action Plan for developing renewable energy sources by 2020.

The Plan, which aims to meet Bulgaria's obligations under EU Directive 2009/28, can be viewed and comments on it made on at the Ministry 's website www.mi.government.bg. When the consultation period is over, it will then be adopted by the Government, probably at the beginning of October 2012.

Despite a recent boom in the construction of renewable energy projects (mainly photovoltaic installations), the draft National Action Plan provides for further strengthening of regulatory, financial and other measures, such as:

  • priority grid connection and full offtake of the electricity produced from renewable installations
  • maintaining the feed-in tariff until at least the end of 2015
  • ensuring the availability of adequate support mechanisms for innovation
  • creating a public information system

The draft plan recognises the fact that Bulgaria is currently lagging behind in trading carbon and certificates of origin, and has failed to introduce proper legislation to support investment in the renewable sector through these market based mechanisms. Nevertheless, the draft plan recognises that the favourable regulatory regime created a 'strong initial incentive' for players in the renewable energy market.

The immediate next steps on the Government's agenda will be to:

  • simplify the regulatory regime for renewable
  • develop an information system for renewable energy resources throughout all regions of the country
  • provide further support for innovative technologies, such as: smart grids, batteries, etc.

In 2013 MEET expect to finalize local regulations for emissions trading.

The draft plan provides for changes in legislation and the introduction of compulsory use of renewable energy systems in new buildings, as well as for a detailed map of those territories where renewable energy projects might be harmful to the environment.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

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The original publication date for this article was 11/09/2012.