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Law Eases Rules on Building Solar Self-Consumption Systems

Bulgaria’s Parliament on Wednesday voted, 109-11 with 44 abstentions, to pass conclusively amendments to the Energy from Renewable Sources Act simplifying the regime for building photovoltaic power plants for self-consumption. The remaining provisions of the bill will be put to the vote at the legislature’s next sitting.
Under the amendments, which were moved by Vladimir Tabutov of Continue the Change and a group of MPs, the planned construction of power plants for self-consumption from renewable energy sources (RES) will be subject to notification requirements, which will make it possible to speed up the process.
A final customer may build power plants harnessing RES on rooftops and facades of buildings that are connected to the electricity transmission or distribution network and on immovable properties adjoining them in urbanized areas, provided the electricity they produce will be used for self-consumption only and the total installed power of the plants is the lower of double the power provided and 5 MW. The owner of such a facility may return or sell electricity to the distribution network after obtaining all opinions on connection required under the Energy Act. Unless such a procedure is initiated, it would be technically impossible for the owner to return or sell electricity.
The opposition GERB-UDF commented that a city of the size of Vidin consumes 5 MW of electricity but there is nevertheless that power plants would be built for the purpose of selling electricity under the pretext of self-consumption. They see another risk in a confusion about what electricity would enter the network and how, whether this is technically feasible, and whether this would jeopardize the security of the system.
Continue the Change argued that the law addresses such risks which are not supposed to materialize.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) said that the law will not work because it does not regulate how surplus electricity will be handled. They proposed that the surplus be supplied to the electricity distribution company and the price for final customers be reduced accordingly.
Continue the Change agreed that the motion makes sense but is a small step, whereas the next steps will seek to make it possible for the surplus electricity to reach the market without putting the distribution network to a test.
Vazrazhdane accused the MRF and We Continue the Change of promoting lobbyist interests.