Rural areas in Bulgaria are reporting peak interest in subsidized projects for the construction of photovoltaic systems.
A total of 37 photovoltaic projects were approved in the last three months, alongside subsidies of over BGN 11.6 M, according to recent statistics of Bulgaria's State Fund Agriculture cited by news portal investor.bg.
The subsidies are granted under three measures of the Rural Development Program (RDP) envisaging a diversification into non-agricultural activities, support for the creation and development of micro-enterprises and ensuring main services for the population and the economy of the rural areas.
Unlike large-scale investment projects in solar parks, agro subsidies are granted to smaller installations which are expected to support local business by reducing the companies' energy expenses, experts say.
The maximum value of the approved projects is EUR 200 000, 80% of which is granted.
The advantage to such investments is that after the construction of photovoltaic systems with a capacity of even over 5 MW they can be connected to the national grid, with the state guaranteeing long-term contracts for purchasing the electricity they generate at preferential tariffs.
Three months ago, the State Fund Agriculture approved around 300 projects out of a total of 700 investment proposals.
The schemes approved in the last three months mark yet another step in the efforts to absorb the entire budget earmarked for supporting investments for the creation of micro enterprises.
The State Fund Agriculture informed that it had given the green light to a total of 166 investment proposals outside the energy sector in the last three months.
The SFA noted that the projects were aimed at encouraging micro enterprises and diversifying business in rural areas and the approved subsidy amounted to over BGN 51.1 M.