The Bulgarian parliament voted Thursday to impose a 20% tax on income from wind and solar energy plants starting next year, given that the government in Sofia is struggling to reduce electricity prices and reduce deficits related to renewable energy, forward Reuters.
The protests caused higher electricity bills, caused in part by investments in renewable energy led to the fall of the previous center-right cabinet in February this year.
The new tax, conceived the idea to recover part of the generous subsidies paid by the poorest country in the European Union renewable energy producers, was approved in the 2014 budget. Also, the Bulgarian parliament voted on Thursday to limit the amount of energy that can be purchased at preferential prices, renewable energy producers estimating that this decision will affect their revenue by 15-20 % with the new tax.
These measures aim only wind and solar energy producers. We request the President to express a veto from the 2014 budget to stop this discriminatory measure, "said Nikola Gazdov, the Bulgarian Association photovoltaic manufacturers.
Attracted by generous subsidies in Bulgaria, more investors from Germany, Austria, the U.S. and South Korea have invested four billion euros to build wind and solar energy plants with a total capacity of 1,600 megawatts.
Wednesday, however, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said he expects 2014 to generate new tax revenue of 150 million leva (104 million dollars ), money will be used to reduce the growing deficit in the energy sector, driven in part and renewable energies. The deficit is caused by the energy difference between the regulated price at which energy is expensive energy sold to consumers and that state company NEK is obliged to buy from producers of renewable Nergal.
Several European countries have adopted measures to reduce subsidies for wind and solar energy, subsidies have led to increasing electricity prices paid by consumers. Czech Republic has imposed a tax of 26 % for photovoltaic plants began to operate in 2009 and 2010. Greece has introduced a 27 % income tax photovoltaic installations and a charge of 10% for wind farms.
In Romania, the government decided in early June to reduce aid to renewable energy. Under the law, the recovery of green certificates will be March 31, 2017 hydro and solar, respectively since January 1, 2018 for wind power. In response, the Czech group CEZ utility has filed a complaint with the European Commission on Romania's decision to postpone the granting of green certificates measure that could cost the Czech company to 66 million per year.