Bulgarian companies can apply for financing under an open procedure for the construction of photovoltaic capacities up to 1 MW under the Recovery and Sustainability Plan. Grant funding from BGN 75,000 to BGN 1 million has been provided. This was explained by the Minister of Innovation and Growth within the framework of the energy forum organized by the "Capital" newspaper.
"There is currently an active application procedure under the Recovery and Sustainability Plan (RSP). The focus is on subsidized installations, photovoltaic panels plus accompanying infrastructure – batteries for local energy storage. This is one of the most anticipated procedures under the Plan and is the third such procedure under the PVU. The procedure is available for business. This was explained by the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev during the forum. "I think that with joint efforts we managed to develop an active and practical procedure. We heard all concerns, took feedback in a very proactive way. We engaged in an unprecedented campaign," said the minister, explaining that in search of feedback, meetings were held at different levels in all regions of the country, and in addition, a public discussion was organized. "We received 120 questions, which in one way or another are included in the context of the procedure, and I think that the final result is good, I expect interest from the business," Pulev pointed out.
The procedure has been open since February 14. The focus is on micro-, macro- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as large business. The application period has been extended from two to three months. The grant component is up to 50%. "In nominal terms, we are talking about a range of financial support from BGN 75 thousand to BGN 1 million. The main limiting factor here is the installed capacity, which should not exceed 1 MW, but beyond this restriction there are no other aggravating conditions," said the minister, adding that this requirement is of the EC, while there are almost no other restrictions. According to him, only agriculture and some sub-segments of the energy sector are excluded at this time, which can apply to the relevant departments according to similar procedures.
In addition, under the current procedure, companies with an average workforce of up to 3,000 people can apply. "That is, almost every company in Bulgaria can join this procedure," explained Pulev.
The Minister of Innovation also explained that the work project submitted for approval must be developed by a licensed consultant from the Chamber of Engineers. To be sure that we have created conditions and prerequisites for a safe installation of these installations, the installation itself must be done by a licensed company, according to the regulations of ZEEVI. We appeal to businesses to take advantage," said the minister. He added that at the beginning this initiative was launched as an experimental one with a resource of BGN 20 million, but thanks to Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov, it has been increased and there is already talk of a resource of BGN 200 million. "I have made a commitment when the process opens through REPowerEU to increase this limit so that the funds reach all companies that have met the criteria and requirements," he assured. In addition, BBR has been activated, which works on a bridge financing type instrument to support companies throughout the entire cycle – from approval to receiving grant funding from Europe.
The Minister of Innovation also shared the interest and progress of our country in line with the hydrogen road map.
"A few days ago we finalized the hydrogen roadmap. It is currently sent to the EC for approval. An interdepartmental coordination process is also ongoing. Our ambition is to have this road map approved at the level of the Council of Ministers within two weeks," said Alexander Pulev. He explained that the so-called "interest feedback" was once again used for the development.
"This requirement for the hydrogen roadmap as a reform along the lines of the Third Payment PVU was key. We met these criteria. We don't look at things bureaucratically. We did not develop this roadmap just to tick some boxes and make some reforms. We have developed this business roadmap to open a niche, a segment that is highly promising, so that a number of investment opportunities can be unlocked in this direction. There are two main directions in it – on the one hand, we have identified all the key legislative reforms, which we will submit to the parliament when there are conditions for a working parliament to start these reforms. The second thing in this roadmap is related to setting the main priority axes that are coordinated with Europe, to translate their requirements, their deadlines already and in the context of the Bulgarian economy. This road map will open opportunities for investments," the minister pointed out.
He also gave an example of the hydrogen valley project already approved by the EC, which will also have co-financing, plus a private resource. "We are not Europe's tailgaters here. On the contrary, this project puts us on the map. There are only 20 countries in the world that have such a hydrogen valley. So here we are not only among the leaders in Europe, but also on a global scale. This project will be led by an international consortium, we are talking about an experimental project. The initial investment will be 30 million euros. Eight million euros come from the EC, another 8 million euros will be provided by MIG through the new program for scientific research. The rest will come from private investors, Pulev explained.
In addition, he stated that 140 million BGN have been earmarked for the development of this type of pilot projects for green hydrogen and biogas. "I think this is a step in the right direction," concluded the Minister of Innovation and Growth.