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Green Fast Tracking

Removing Barriers to Decentralization and Democratization of the Energy Transition in Bulgaria

Decentralised power generation is at the heart of the rapid development of the renewable energy sector in Europe. The enormous advance of renewable energy technologies is increasingly driving citizens and businesses to seek a path towards energy independence. The success of the energy transition will depend precisely on the more active role of citizens, local communities and small and medium-sized businesses, who will turn from passive energy users into investors and producers of electricity.  In Bulgaria, this process of democratisation and decentralisation of the renewable energy sector faces serious challenges, such as a bottlenecked grid connection process and, still, excessively complex, bureaucratic procedures accompanying the issue of environmental and construction permits for renewable energy projects.

Recent amendments to the Energy Act and the Renewable Energy Act have attempted to harmonise Bulgaria's national legislation with European law. The aim is to unlock the potential for small, decentralised capacities, scattered across the country, that will contribute to reducing the cost of energy consumption and turn Bulgarian citizens into active participants on the electricity market.

This analysis of the recent changes of the Bulgarian regulatory framework is a critical review of best practices from other EU member states in transposing European renewable energy legislation. It contributes to the development of concrete recommendations for future legal changes that aim to promote renewable energy investments, with a focus on the decentralisation of electricity generation and the promotion of energy citizenship.

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