Bulgaria Opens Funding Round For Solar & Storage Projects

Bulgaria’s Innovation Ministry Invites Applications From Businesses To Secure Funding For Self-Consumption Solar Power & Storage Projects
Adding storage component to solar PV systems is mandatory under Bulgaria’s BGN 200 million funding round. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: bit mechanic/Shutterstock.com)
Adding storage component to solar PV systems is mandatory under Bulgaria’s BGN 200 million funding round. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: bit mechanic/Shutterstock.com)
  • Bulgaria has launched a new funding round for small scale solar and storage systems
  • The funding is targeted at MSMEs to install up to 1 MW solar and storage projects installed on their own properties
  • The measure is aimed at enabling companies to reduce their electricity costs and become less dependent on the grid

Micro-, small- and medium-sized companies (MSME) in Bulgaria can win up to 50% of their investment costs for building solar and storage facilities under the Ministry of Innovation and Growth's 3rd call as part of the country's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPVU).

In this funding round with a budget of BGN 200 million ($109.5 million), companies installing up to 1 MW solar and storage facilities can win state support ranging between BGN 75,000 to BGN 1 million ($41,085 to $547,780) to cover their construction cost.

To be eligible, such systems must be constructed on a building or property owned by the respective applicants. Electricity generated cannot be sold to the grid. Self-generation of electricity with mandatory storage through this funding round is aimed at enabling companies lower their electricity costs and become less dependent on the free electricity market.

"The measure is aimed solely at solar photovoltaic energy and has as a mandatory element the acquisition of technologies and storage facilities in the form of batteries, which contributes to the balance of the generated power," stated the ministry.

Launched on February 14, 2023, the last date to submit applications is May 15, 2023, according to the tender call.

The 1st call under NPVU was related to technological modernization of companies and the 2nd was for ICT solutions and cyber security, the ministry informed.

In April 2022, the European Commission endorsed Bulgaria's €6.3 billion NPVU under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The country has committed to use 59% of this allocation on measures supporting climate objectives, including tripling its power generation from renewables by 2026 while planning a coal-phase out and building large electricity storage capacities.

At the end of 2021, Bulgaria's total operational renewable energy capacity was 4.45 GW, including 1.186 GW of solar PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

In its EU Market Outlook for Solar Power 2022-2026, SolarPower Europe (SPE) expected Bulgaria's cumulative PV capacity to have reached 1.54 GW at the end of 2022. In view of the country's national energy climate plans to achieve an aggregate 3.216 GW PV capacity by 2030, SPE believes it does not reflect the country's solar potential. The analysts believe the electricity prices have been artificially kept low, lowering the attractivity of solar PV as the government favors fossil fuels over solar and renewables (see European Union To Exit 2022 With Over 41 GW Solar Installed).

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