Legal Alert-The New Renewable Energy Act
National Renewable Energy Action Plan
In compliance with the new Directive, the RE Act introduces a National Renewable Energy Action Plan which shall be developed and updated if necessary by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism. The Action plan outlines the development of renewable energy sector in the following 10 years at national level and contains information on national and sectoral indicative target shares of renewable energy, forecasts of gross internal energy consumption, evaluation of achievement, overview of national policies and incentives, etc.
To ensure that the mandatory national targets are achieved, Bulgarian authorities shall follow an indicative trajectory stipulated in the Action plan tracing a path through the years towards securing the final 16 % objective set by 2020, as shown below:
Statistical transfers, Joint projects and Joint support schemes
A major moment in Directive 2009/28/EO is the appearance of new flexible mechanisms for cross-border cooperation, which each EU Member State may use for optimizing their national targets. The European Commission shall be duly notified in case such mechanisms are used.
The RE Act lays down the general statutory framework applicable for each of the mechanisms:
(i). Statistical transfers of amounts of renewable energy between EU Member States may be used by a country that has exceeded its national targets in order to transfer some amount of produced renewable energy contributing to the target share of another EU country in insufficiency.
(ii). Joint projects between Bulgaria and one or more EU Member States. Third (nonEU) countries may also be involved. The objective of such projects is renewable energy produced by installations located in partnering (EU or non-EU) countries to be contributed to the Bulgarian national target share. A mandatory requirement for installations to participate in the projects is that they should have become operational or have been reconstructed after 25th of June, 2009.
(iii). Joint support schemes may be developed by Bulgaria and one or more EU Member States for fostering the production and consumption of renewable energy through joining or coordinating the existing national schemes.
New grid access procedure
The RE Act establishes a new restrictive mechanism for connection of renewable energy installations to the electricity grid. The new procedure, applicable as of 01 January 2012, shall run through several stages aimed at ultimately limiting the intended grid connections with respect to the available grid capacity.
The procedure starts having grid operators analyze the existing grid capacities for connection of new renewable energy producers and annually provide such information to the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (DKEVR). Then, the Commission determines the maximum grid connection capacities allowed for renewable energy installations within the following one-year period. These quotas shall be allocated depending on different connection regions and voltage levels.
The procedure continues with a grid access application filed by the renewable energy producer to the grid operators conforming to the quotas announced. At this stage, the applicant shall provide a participation guarantee in the amount of BGN 5 000 per 1 MW capacity to be installed.