Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev has asked the country’s constitutional court to rule on the legality of the introduction of a 20% fee on the revenues of solar and wind electricity producers, according to a statement published on the president’s website on Thursday afternoon.
The president had an option to veto the fee, but did not use it. The fee was introduced during the parliamentary discussions for the 2014 budget and caused outrage among lobbyists and led to public protests.
The country’s prime minister Plamen Oresharski said the revenues from the fee would be invested in the Bulgarian electricity system, which is facing a big deficit.
The energy ministry defended the proposal quoting similar measures taken by the governments of other European countries ( see EDEM 5 December 2013 ).
On Friday the Bulgarian Wind Energy Association sent an open letter to the government asking for the fee to be scrapped as it would harm the development of the sector, with small and medium businesses being hit the hardest.
According to the president’s statement the fee was introduced last minute without any debate and lacked an impact assessment. This would negatively influence Bulgaria’s business environment, he added. This is why Plevlneliev has asked the court for its opinion.
In March Bulgaria’s supreme administrative court revoked grid access fees for renewable producers which had been introduced retroactively the previous year ( see EDEM 15 March 2013 ). Irina Peltegova