On November 28, 2023, during the second day of the ABEA Annual Conference, a seminar on the legal issues of energy communities in the countries of the European Community under the Lightness project was held at the Hemus Hotel in Sofia. The event was attended by over 70 participants – representatives of state and municipal authorities, energy experts, citizens and representatives of the non-governmental sector.

The seminar was opened by Eng. Ivaylo Alexiev, executive director of SEDA, who emphasized the recent changes in Bulgarian legislation regarding renewable energy sources and the prospects for the development of energy communities in the country based on established models in Europe.

Dr. Zdravko Georgiev from SEA SOFENA introduced the existing good practices and the results of the pilot initiatives under the Lightness project, presenting the first steps for the formation of energy communities for renewable energy in our country.

Dr. Nadia Nikolova-Deme from SEA SOFENA made a comparative analysis of the definitions of civil energy communities and renewable energy communities in the light of the changes in the Bulgarian legislation.

Good examples of tools to help citizens to create energy communities and collective models were presented by Dr. Maria Trifonova – coordinator of the Shares project, CHIEC, and Eng. Stanislav Andreev from EnEffect acquainted the participants with the launch of the activities for setting up an energy cooperative in the municipality of Gabrovo in the form of a public-private partnership.

The seminar ended with a fruitful discussion on the possibilities that the creation of energy communities opens up to support energy poor households and to provide their members with  own energy at low prices.

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