The Bulgarian Ministry of Energy has announced that a BGN 240 million ($134 million) rebate scheme is now open to households wishing to install solar water heating systems and rooftop electricity systems, possibly combined with battery energy storage systems.
The ministry said on Tuesday that homeowners can now apply for financing for solar water heating systems and rooftop electricity systems of up to 10 kWp, which can be combined with battery energy storage systems. Applications are accepted on the 10th. until November.
After final approval by the European Commission, a total of BGN 140 million will be allocated from Bulgaria’s National Recovery and Survival Plan, with the rest coming from additional government and private sector funding. In the first round of funding, up to BGN 80 million will be distributed.
According to the long-awaited financing scheme, the cost of solar water heating systems can be fully financed, but up to a maximum of BGN 1,961. Solar PV systems up to 10 kWp are financed up to 70% with a maximum of BGN 15,000. In order to receive funding, households must be the applicant’s permanent residence and use an inefficient heat source, such as a wood or coal stove, boiler or fireplace.
According to SolarPower Europe (SPE), Bulgaria reached 1.5 GW of cumulative solar capacity at the end of 2022.
“Bulgaria’s solar energy target remains low, as solar energy will account for only 2.6% of electricity in 2040,” SPE said in its EU solar market outlook for 2022-26.. “However, Bulgaria benefits from high radiation levels, especially in the southern part of the country, and has significant solar potential, which is not reflected in the current target.”
In 2020, SPE predicted Bulgaria would reach 3.8 GW by 2024, exceeding its 2030 target. The pace was expected mainly through solar energy projects under unsubsidized large-scale power purchase agreements (PPAs).
However, in October 2022 Bulgaria’s electricity grid operator revealed that it had accepted applications to build new renewable energy projects with a combined installed capacity of more than 24 GW – double the country’s installed generation capacity. It said the new projects would require significant network expansion and that it was in talks with potential investors Necessary actions.
Bulgaria’s power generation fleet is dominated by lignite and hard coal power plants with a capacity of 4.5 GW. The output of renewable energy sources other than hydropower is about 2.3 GW, hydropower 3.2 GW, nuclear power 2 GW and natural gas 600 MW.