Bulgaria launches home PV tax rebate program

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Energy has released a 240 million BGN ($134 million) tax rebate program, which allows home users to install solar water heating systems and rooftop photovoltaic systems, which can be installed in conjunction with battery energy storage systems. This program can help the country’s household users reduce their carbon footprint and lower their electricity bills.

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Home users can now claim tax rebates for installed solar water heating systems and rooftop PV systems with an installed capacity of up to 10kW, which can be equipped with battery energy storage systems, the department said. The deadline to apply for a refund is November 10.

After final approval by the European Commission, a total of 140 million levs will be allocated from Bulgaria’s national recovery and recovery plan, with the remaining funds coming from additional state and private sector funds. In the first round of financing, the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy will allocate up to 80 million levas.

Under the long-awaited financing scheme, solar water heating systems installed by home users can be fully subsidized, but not more than 1961 levas; PV systems with an installed capacity of less than 10kW will receive up to 70% of the grant, up to a maximum amount of 15,000 levas. In order to receive funding, the applicant must be permanently resident and use an inefficient heat source, such as a stove or fireplace with firewood or coal.

According to data released by the European Photovoltaic Association (SPE), by the end of 2022, the cumulative installed capacity of photovoltaic systems installed in Bulgaria reached 1.5GW.

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The European Photovoltaic Association (SPE) said in its “EU PV Market Outlook Report 2022~2026”: “The target of PV systems installed in Bulgaria is still very low, because the share of PV power generation will only account for 2.6% of its total power generation by 2040.” However, Bulgaria benefits from high sunlight irradiance (especially in the south of the country) and has significant PV potential, which is not reflected in the country’s current targets. ”

In 2020, the European Photovoltaic Association (SPE) predicted that Bulgaria would install 3.8GW of PV systems by 2024, thus exceeding its 2030 target. This momentum is expected to be mainly supported by subsidy-free large-scale PV projects built under power purchase agreements (PPAs).

However, a major Bulgarian power system operator revealed in October 2022 that it had accepted applications to install new renewable energy projects with a total installed capacity of more than 24GW. The company said that installing new projects would require a significant expansion of the grid and is discussing necessary actions with potential investors.

Bulgaria’s power generation facilities are dominated by lignite and hard coal power stations, with a total installed capacity of 4.5GW. The country has installed about 2.3GW of non-hydro renewable energy generation facilities, 3.2GW of hydropower, 2GW of nuclear power and 600MW of natural gas power generation facilities.

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