The Ministry of Energy proposes for public discussion amendments to the Energy from Renewable Sources Act. The amendments were developed in order to transpose the requirements of EU Directive 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.
With a view to fulfilling the requirements of the Directive, the draft law has supplemented the powers of the Minister of Environment and Water, who develops and implements a mechanism for reliable and independent auditing of the information submitted by economic operators regarding the fulfillment of the requirements for the sustainability of biofuels and liquid biomass fuels. According to the proposed changes, the Minister of Environment and Water should organize the submission of information on transactions and criteria for sustainability of gaseous and liquid biomass fuels used in transport.
The draft law supplements the powers of the Minister of Agriculture to organize the collection and summarization of information on the potential, production and consumption of raw materials from agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry.
The draft law regulates the responsibilities of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) to prepare an assessment of the effectiveness of support schemes for electricity from renewable sources and their impact on different groups of consumers. The EWRC is expected to prepare an assessment of the regulatory and administrative obstacles to long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and to take measures to remove the unfounded obstacles.
The draft law introduces the powers of the executive director of the Sustainable Energy Development Agency to organize and maintain the membership of the Agency in the European Association of Issuing Bodies. Membership in the association will provide an opportunity for additional income to renewable energy producers who do not receive financial support from other schemes.
Amendments to the Energy from Renewable Sources Act also provide for the establishment of contact points to provide guidance and facilitate the entire administrative process of application and permit issuance. Municipalities will perform such functions.
The proposed amendments provide for new authority for the Minister of Energy to approve the plans of heat transfer companies for the development of district heating or cooling systems, in the event that such plans are developed.
The draft law regulates the requirements regarding the determination of a national target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption, the mandatory minimum target for the share of energy from renewable sources in final consumption in transport, as well as the targets for the share of energy from renewable sources in sectors electrical energy, thermal energy and cooling energy.
With the proposed amendments, users of their own electricity from renewable sources will be able to produce, store and sell their surplus through power purchase agreements (PPAs), through electricity suppliers and through trade agreements between partners.
The draft law has been published for public discussion on the Bulgarian Portal for Public Consultation.