Lack of consistency in the field of energy policies, insufficient administrative capacity as well as heavy administrative and tax burdens are among the main obstacles preventing Bulgaria to unlock its huge potential for the decentralization of electricity generation. These were some of the points outlined by the speakers in the “Decentralisation and democratisaion of Bulgaria’s energy sector: reaching EU’s main energy and climate goals” round table. The discussion took place in the National Assembly on 27 November 2018, and was jointly organised by the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Parliamentary Committee on Energy.
Among the main participants were Delyan Dobrev, Chairman of the Energy Committee at the National Assembly, Zhecho Stankov, Deputy Minister of Energy, MPs as well as energy transition experts from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment and Water, Ministry for Regional Development and Public Works, Energy and Water Regulation Committee, as well as the Executive Agency on Forestry at the Agriculture Ministry. Representatives of the district system operators (DSOs) and the non-governmental sector also took part in the round table.
The debate focused on the development of the National Energy and Climate Plan that the Bulgarian government is preparing as a future framework for energy transition until 2030. The experts agreed on several recommendations that could ease the energy transition and decrease energy poverty:
- A better integration of the energy efficiency measures and the policy promoting the use of renewable energy sources;
- Setting up more ambitious goals for increasing the number of passive buildings and for more eco-friendly and efficient use of the biomass resources in the country;
- Supporting and promoting the research and development agenda in the field of low-carbon technologies, which have high added value and can literally transform those regions in Bulgaria which are highly dependent on coal power plants and the mining industry.
The representatives of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Environment and Water underlined that for the realisation of the key climate and energy priorities, the government will rely on resources from the EU structural funds and the Modernisation Fund allocated for the 2021-2027 period, which support projects for technological upgrades and low-carbon energy innovations. The National Climate and Energy Plan will also include a series of measures that will decrease the administrative burden for the launch of new renewable-based power plants and create adequate market stimuli for the industry.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman of the Energy Committee, Mr. Delyan Dobrev asked the participants to send further recommendations for legislative amendments aiming to decrease the administrative burden before the small RES power plants, in addition to those already outlined in the report by the Center for the Study of Democracy.