The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has thrown its weight behind efforts in Bulgaria to overturn new legislation imposing a retroactive levy on income from PV plants.

In an open letter to Bulgaria’s president and prime minister and other senior political figures, EPIA criticised measures adopted earlier this month that will see a 20% charge applied to income from solar and wind projects.

The letter, signed by EPIA president Winfried Hoffman, warned the measure would be “detrimental” not just to the roll-out of renewable energy in Bulgaria, but also to the investment climate in the country more generally.

“Investors should expect predictability and foreseeability in the investment environment, implementation of directives, regulations and European policies in the field of climate and energy. I was surprised that the Bulgarian Parliament adopted the proposed amendments to Renewable Energy Source Act (RESA) without public consultation and without preliminary announcement,” wrote Hoffman in the letter.

Hoffman argued that the proposed measures did not appear to be based on any national energy strategy and could be in contravention of several European energy directives. He said he hoped Bulgarian authorities would launch “structured dialogue” on the country’s energy policy with investors and financial bodies

Hoffman said EPIA would ask the European Commission for “an immediate reaction to discourage retrospective measures such as the one taken in Bulgaria, which are threatening the investment climate in the European renewable energy sector”.