Bulgaria tightens rules for new clean energy projects
Bulgaria’s Environment Ministry has advised its regional directorates to closely observe the applications rules on renewable energy development, deputy minister Evdokia Maneva told Dnevnik. She added the ministry is drafting guidelines for the directorates to add a requirement for confirmation by state-owned power utility NEK of the route pipelines linking capacities to the grid.
Regional directorates will also have to gauge the environmental impact of developing renewable energy infrastructure. Wind energy investors will be required to conduct one-year wind speed measurement before they can apply for an environmental impact assessment. The aim is to make sure that the project is justified.
Speaking to Dnevnik last week, environment minister Nona Karadjova said the government has decided to jettison plans for a temporary suspension of renewable energy development until Bulgaria draws up its action plan for the sector by 2020. The sudden change of mind came after ministry representatives met up with the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG), which opposed the ban and called for more stringent regulations to sift projects out.
The ministry said it could seek changes to the grid-connection ordinance to scrap rules stipulating that 5 MW capacities can be only hooked to the distribution network and add a requirement for investors to complete the power plant within a certain timeframe from signing the preliminary agreement.