Renewable energy producers and employees in the industry staged a protest Monday morning in front of the building of Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).
Some 150 investors and employees of small photovoltaic plants rallied Monday against the newly introduced fee for accessing the networks of the three power distributors operating in the country, CEZ, Energo-Pro and EVN.
The disgruntled industry representatives claimed that the new fee would deprive them of 10-40% of their revenues, adding that any business would face bankruptcy if it had 40% of its revenues taken away.
They insisted that the decision of the energy watchdog had to be revoked.
The protesters argued that the fee contradicted Bulgarian and EU laws and its amount was unprecedented for Europe.
The representatives of the renewable energy industry noted that the restrictive measures would hurt the interests of small centrals made by Bulgarian investors and could lead to bankruptcies and job losses.
They called for a meeting with Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to demand guarantees that they would not face repressive measures by the state in the future.
The demonstrators also called for the resignation of DKEVR Chair Angel Semerdzhiev.
Bulgaria's energy watchdog introduced the new grid access fee on September 14, saying that power distributors had to cover increased expenses due to the large number of renewable energy producers connected to the grid after July 1.
The Bulgarian Association of Producers of Ecological Energy (APEE) defined DKEVR's decision as discriminatory, stressing that the fee would only apply for renewable energy plants.
The APEE vowed to appeal the decision of the energy watchdog.