Bulgaria and Romania note weak performance in European rooftop solar PV country report

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Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, together with eco-union, published on Thursday (4 April) an updated Rooftop Solar PV Country Comparison Report, which evaluated and reported on the progress made by EU countries in the deployment and facilitation of household rooftop solar PV since the original report published in May 2022.

As CAN Europe noted in a press release, Since May 2022, the EU has adopted the Rooftop Solar Initiative and the EU Solar Strategy introduced as part of the REPowerEU package, as well as the adoption of a new EU Solar Standard as part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Each country is scored on seven key areas: governance, incentives & support schemes, permitting procedures, energy sharing & collective self-consumption and energy communities, along with any additional measures that the country is or is not implementing (for example, public awareness campaign, training programs to tackle a shortage of skilled workers in the sector, the rollout of smart meters to households).

Governance: Most Member States lack a clear roadmap or strategy for rooftop solar PV, with insufficient stakeholder involvement and institutional mechanisms to support development.

Incentives: There exists a variation in support schemes across Member States, with some utilising feed-in tariffs and others focusing on net billing schemes. However, frequent changes in policy and a lack of targeted support for low-income households have impacted consumer confidence and sector stability.

Permitting and Administrative Procedures: Recent EU regulations have led to a more favourable permitting environment for residential rooftop PV, but national and local implementation shows inconsistency. Efforts to streamline processes and reduce bureaucratic hurdles are ongoing, with some successes in reducing permit times and simplifying procedures.

Energy Sharing and Collective Self-Consumption: There is a growing adaptation of regulations to support energy sharing and collective self-consumption, particularly in multi-apartment buildings. However, restrictions on grid usage and geographical limitations remain barriers.

Energy Communities: While the transposition of EU definitions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) into national legislation has progressed, many Member States have not fully developed an enabling framework to support their emergence and operation.

Additional Measures: Efforts to increase public awareness, deploy smart meters, and ensure grid readiness for the increased adoption of solar PV are deemed essential for future growth. Training programmes for installers and administrative staff are needed to align with the rising demand for solar PV.

Romania and Bulgaria were among the worst-ranked countries on the report’s scoreboard, scoring 13 and 7, respectively. For comparison, Lithuania, one of the scoreboard’s leaders, scored 19. At the same time, Romania came in second in terms of the difference in the score since the 2022 ranking (+5).

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