Bulgaria to revise its renewables law

The Bulgarian Parliament has started reviewing the Energy from Renewable Sources Act (“ERSA”).
Several key amendments, relevant to the photovoltaic solar sector are introduced. We focus on two: the introduction of a fixed FiT level for the life of each Power Purchase Agreement and an attempt to introduce predictability in the capacity available for grid connections by agreeing detailed plans at the beginning of each 1 year period.
We find that the approach of having a fixed price/FiT level for the life of each agreement or 25 years (whichever is the shorter) is superior to the existing approach to pricing and contributes to certainty;
We would expect that there is a substantial risk that authorities and the Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs) would experience uncertainty as to the legal position in advance of the coming into effect of the new legislation and would lose enthusiasm in implementing the existing position – we would strongly urge that the Bill contains an express statement (of the obvious point) that the applicable regime remains in place until a named future date;
As regards one of the other major innovations — the introduction of a system of advance planning of the available capacity, we find this on the whole positive but would caution as follows:
a) a flattening of the decision-making structure may be preferable;
b) a greater clarity and spelling out of procedure as to the planning process would be needed at the level of implementing regulations under the Statute (and no doubt is being planned);
c) an express obligation for REDs and SCEWR/NEC to make public specific data (eg, access maps by capacity and levels of connectible voltage) (eg, via the web as well as their offices) may be recommended;
d) mechanisms for private as well as private enforcement (carefully considered and agreed for their practicability with stakeholders) would be highly desirable.



Recent work:

A win in an insurance exclusion clause dispute at the Supreme Court

NBLO's dispute resolution team, led by Yordan Neshkov, secured a success against a large Bulgarian insurer in a claim brought on behalf of a UK national, who had lost her property in a fire. The insurer had refused to pay out under the insurance, on the grounds that a widely drawn clause in its general terms allegedly excused it from paying whenever there was a breach of building regulations, even if (as was accepted in this case) this breach was invisible externally, could not be discovered through reasonable investigation and was not caused by the insured. NBLO had good reasons to argue that this position was unsupported in the Bulgarian Insurance Code or civil law generally and persuaded the Supreme Cassation Court to back it. This is covered more fully in an article on our website.

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