Renewable Power Producers Rally against Plans for Revenue Fee
Tuesday, 03 December 2013
Renewable power producers staged on Monday a protest rally in Bulgaria's capital against plans to impose a 20% charge on revenues from wind and solar power generation as of January 1.
The protest saw several hundred gather in front of the building of the energy ministry, according to a video broadcast posted on the website of the state-run Bulgarian National Television. The protest will continue on Tuesday.
The new fee, which was proposed last week by the leader of the ultra-nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, will be debated as part of the 2014 budget bill that is currently being reviewed by the MPs.
“In essence, the adoption of this decision for a 20% fee on our investments is tantamount to nationalisation of our capital, our labour, and our efforts to turn Bulgaria into a modern state,” the Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association said in a press release last week. It will drive away foreign and local investors from the most successful sector of the Bulgarian economy, in which over 4.0 billion euro ($5.4 billion) have been invested and thousands of jobs created, it added.
In a press release issued later on Monday, the economy ministry said the proposed fee will have a balancing effect on the electricity system. For 2013, the energy regulator has set the preferential purchase price for electricity from renewable sources at up to 353 levs ($245/180 euro) per megawatt-hour (MWh), as compared to 37.75 levs/MWh for power generated by the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, and 63.14 levs/MWh for electricity produced by the Maritsa East 2 thermal power plant, it added.