Renewable Energy Amendments Sneaked into Bulgarian Arms Exports Law

Energy | October 25, 2012, Thursday // 14:59|  views

According to reports of Bulgarian Capital Daily, the Bulgarian government is trying to tack legal amendments in the sphere of renewable energy onto a law on arms exports. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Bulgarian government is trying to pass legal amendments in the sphere of renewable energy through the back door.

According to reports of Bulgarian Capital Daily, the amendments are expected to pass second reading alongside a law governing arms exports.

The provisions were added during the discussion by the Parliamentary Economic Committee of the Law on Export Control of Defense Products and Goods and Technologies with Double Use.

In this case, however, the proposed renewable energy amendments have nothing to do with the law which is being put to the vote and are aimed at cementing the grid access fee for producers of renewable energy, Capital Daily argues.

The grid access fee was introduced without much debate by the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) in mid-September.

The newly introduced fee deprives renewable energy producers of 2-40% of their revenues.

Wind farms and photovoltaic plants are hardest hit as the fee for them amounts to 20-40% of their revenues.

The reason behind the fee was said to be that renewable energy producers must be made to cover the huge expenses they incur to the energy system.

Renewable energy investors voiced doubts about the legality of the fee and appealed it before the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS).

One of the proposed amendments provides that grid access tariffs, including those paid by renewable energy producers, will be determined by the DKEVR by June 30 each year.

The legal changes also legalize the possibility for compensating expenses of power distributors and the National Electric Company (NEK) for energy which they are obliged to buy at preferential prices through the grid access fee.

Another amendment stipulates a term of six months since the law's entry into force during which Bulgaria's energy watchdog must come up with final grid access tariffs.

The currently introduced tariffs are temporary as DKEVR claimed that there was not enough information for their calculation.

Yet another amendment stipulates an opportunity for revoking the preferential tariff for projects for which it has been proved that they did not obtain all permits legally.

They will also have to return the sums already paid to the power distributors or to NEK.

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Tags: renewable energy, Renewable Energy Act, arms exports, Bulgarian Parliament, State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR, NEK, National Electric Company, power distributors


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