Verification of the EC started in connection with the complaints filed by the associations in the sector due to a charge, which takes between 1 and 40% of the revenues of green plants. Against the decision of the regulator, the case was filed in the Supreme Administrative Court. Later, the minister of economy and energy Delian Dobrev said that he has no information about the launched inquiry, but would not explain why the fee was introduced in a first place. Himself, Dobrev and President of the regulatory body, Angel Semerdzhiev were strangely unwilling to maintain a dialogue with the renewables industry as they, or their representatives did not attend the event, despite the invitation.
During the discussions, the lack of dialogue with the institutions was highlighted as one of the major issues facing investors in the country.
Effects of the 'Access fee'
Sebastian Noethlichs presented data showing that with the introduction of the fee, renewable energy project with a capacity of up to 200 kilowatts will have pay off time between 21-25 years. In larger projects over 5 MW of these terms are 23 to 30 years. Such return does not meet the conditions agreed with the banks and these projects are actually in bankruptcy. Mr. Penkov from Solarvision also presented their calculations, according to which the deficit for green energy in the system for the period July 2012 - July 2013 would be 200 million lev, and the funds collected from the access fee will total less than that amount. This does not mean that this shortfall will be covered, as the deficit is formed in supply companies, and access fees collected by the electricity companies. Even under the umbrella, these companies can not pass it on their costs and revenues, as this would be cross-subsidizing them.
According to Mr. Penkov the caused deficiency is apparently due to erroneous methodology for calculating of the prices and margins by the regulator. Solarvision's calculations, in addition to the green margin calculations, however, have demonstrated that another deficit of 300 million lev will accumulate with the highly efficient co-generation power production. This means that the allowance that all users pay for this energy will be sufficient to pay the total amount of electricity produced from heating companies. While with the green energy production is attempted the deficit to be covered by the 'access fee' with the co-generation installations this can be done only by an increase in the allowance, which will lead to a hike in electricity price for consumers.
The effects on the business environment
"We do not want to interfere with the discussion about electricity prices, but we want predictability so we can do our job," said the CEO of UniCredit Bulbank Levon Hampartzoumian. "In good years the otherwise scares capital available for the business in Bulgaria, can provide economic growth of 1-2%. If we want more growth, foreign capital should come to Bulgaria, and it is interested to do so, if it can make profits." he added.
Ambassadors who attended the event, also expressed concern about the unpredictable business environment that is created in Bulgaria. Ambassador to South Korea Cheng Bi - Ho said he hoped that the government will decide to not discriminate against renewable energy sector.