SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 5 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's parliament on Thursday decided to impose a 20% charge on revenues from wind and solar power generation as of January 1, the state-run Bulgarian News Agency, BTA, reported.
The new fee, which was proposed last week by the leader of the ultra-nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, was adopted as part of the provisions of the 2014 state budget.
Non-payment of the fee carries a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 levs ($3,500 - 7,000 /2,600-5,200 euro) for first violation, and 7,000 to 15,000 levs for repeat violation, BTA reported.
Local renewable power producers have been staging protests against the new fee since the beginning of the week.
The Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association and the Bulgarian Wind Energy Association describe the new measures as "discriminatory", adding that they will destroy the small and medium-sized businesses in the energy sector and will halt the process of diversification of energy sources in the country with serious consequences for energy security.
For its part, the economy ministry claims that the proposed fee will have a balancing effect on the electricity system.
(1 euro=1.95583 Bulgarian levs)