Bulgaria state-owned energy company calls for reintroduction of solar tax

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The executive director of Bulgarian Energy Holdings (BEH) has written a letter to the Bulgarian Parliament urging for a drastic overhaul of the country’s Energy from Renewable Sources Act.

Boyan Boev wrote to Parliament Chair Mihail Mikov; Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev, and Chair of the Parliamentary energy committee, Ramadan Atalay to express his concern about the "burden" renewable energy sources place on Bulgaria’s energy system and its electricity bills.

Boev proposed three measures he thinks could create a more level playing field for all sources of energy; measures that would help to stabilize Bulgaria’s National Electric Company (NEK) – currently languishing in technical bankruptcy – and which he believes would bring down electricity prices for consumers.

Currently, power generated by PV plants receives preferential rates in Bulgaria, something which Boev thinks is harming the country’s energy system. The introduction of 30% tax on renewable energy‘s preferential prices could, he argues, bring balance to the energy mix.

"We could change the support mechanism and introduce tradable green certificates with a view to alleviating the burden on the budget and avoiding the regulatory risk, or introduce price ceilings on the purchase prices of solar power," Boev wrote, before suggesting the introduction of an additional tax.

"The tax rate could be set at 30% and be levied on a monthly basis directly by the public supplier on the quantities of electricity sold by the producers."

This is not the first time Bulgaria’s burgeoning PV industry has come under attack from the country’s major utilities. Earlier this year, the Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) filed an official complaint about the widespread practice of limiting renewable energy available to the grid. The utilities argue that Bulgaria’s declining population and reduced demand for power was causing an imbalance between power produced and power consumed, and that measures had to be taken in order to avoid grid overload.