The market for renewable energy in Europe is increasing rapidly, The EU is working to reduce the effects of climate change and establish a common energy policy. As part of this policy, European Heads of State or Government agreed in March 2007 on binding targets to increase the share of renewable energy. By 2020 renewable energy should account for 20% of the EU’s final energy consumption (8,5% in 2005). To meet this common target, each Member State needs to increase its production and use of renewable energy in electricity, heating and cooling and transport.
Although renewable energies are an integral part of our fight against climate change, they also contribute to growth, job creation and increase of energy security, which is why emerging countries such as Bulgaria are keen to increase their use of the technology.
The EU has set up renewables targets which are individual to each member state and calculated as the share of renewable consumption to gross final energy consumption. Renewables consumption comprises the direct use of renewables (e.g. biofuels) plus the part of electricity and heat that is produced from renewables (e.g. wind, hydro), while final energy consumption is the energy that households, industry, services, agriculture and the transport sector use.
The denominator for the RES share includes also distribution losses for electricity and heat and the consumption of these fuels in the process of producing electricity and heat.
The Bulgarian target is 16%, which the country is approaching, however there is more to be done to achieve this.
This increased interest in renewable energy has opened up the market, leading to an increased need for legal help for firm’s looking to manufacture the technology, as there are a number of regulations which need to be complied with.
Penkov, Markov & Partners are a firm which specialise in providing such assistance, helping customers to navigate through regulation and guiding them through any other legal issues they may have.
Throughout the Bulgarian firm’s rich history of PM & P is rooted long-standing corporate culture and traditions entirely dedicated to our clients and providing quality legal services related to investment and business customers. Now PM & P is a leader in many of its core business areas.
The firm started to offer services clients in the legal field in accordance with Western standards in 1990 immediately after the democratic changes in Bulgaria. Consequently they have gained significant expertise in almost all areas of the legal practice, becoming a full service law firm.
Penkov, Markov & Partner is also the first law firm in Bulgaria to be certified with an ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Certification.
The aim of PM & P is to promote best practices in law and civil society in Bulgaria, which is expressed in the commitment of the team to work for the public good and promoting the business. This is recognized by many non-governmental organizations active in improving energy legislation in the country.
Experts employed by PM & P are legal advisors and officials of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce in the preparation of amendments to the Energy Act and the Renewable Energy. The firm’s team advises regularly and actively participate in the energy initiatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Bulgarian Wind Energy Association and many others.
In recent years the firm has been working increasingly in building their expertise in renewable energy law, and are now considered to be in a leading position in this field. The firm serves many manufacturing and distribution companies, financial institutions and investment companies. Through their work in this sector they have acquired a rich experience not only in the preparation of various documents and contracts, but also to achieve overall coordination and representation at all stages, including design, development, financing and implementation of projects in the field of energy sources. The firm covering generation, transmission, distribution and trading of electricity.
PM & P has gained considerable experience in the administrative procedures for entering the liberalized electricity market and the preparation of contracts for the supply and purchase of electricity, natural gas, construction and connection of new energy facilities. Especially valuable is the firm’s experience gained in the realization of projects for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and in the preparation of alternative schemes of project financing.
Participation in various stages of preparation of the Concessions Act has deepened the company’s knowledge and increase the effectiveness of their services in the field of concession modes, use of mineral resources, as well as the regulatory framework in the water sector. The team of PM & P has good practice in connection with the appeal procedures before administrative and judicial authorities.
The energy team of PM & P operates not only in the area of direction changes but also in the supplementation of the Bulgarian energy legislation. Experts at the company are also actively participating in the development of the Third Energy Package of the European Union, a new model for stimulating renewable energy in Bulgaria with the purpose of easing the burden of the cost of purchase for society and a new model for the electricity market in the country in order to overcome the energy crisis in 2013.
The firm has one of the most prepared and experienced energy teams in Bulgaria. The company provides a complete and comprehensive service to producers of renewable energy with a capacity of over 1800 MW, representing nearly 50% of developed country such projects. Their services include assistance in project development, structuring and implementation of acquisitions, due diligence, regulatory issues, etc.
Some of PM & P clients in this area include Innovative Wind Concepts, EnergiMidt Renewables, Roslyn Capital Partners, Enertrag, Innimmo Investments and Wind Innovation, Graess Solar, Soventix and XEMC.
The firm also did work on the South Stream project prior to the decision not take it any further, and their expertise was particularly sought with regards to the implementation of the underwater part of the project.
These high profile clients and projects which the company has worked on illustrates the firm’s expertise and vast knowledge of the sector that the firm has amassed. The company is also highly experienced at working within the construction industry in Bulgaria, which is also expanding rapidly, advising firms on acquisitions or regulatory compliance.
An example of this is their work advising and representing Yioula on the privatization of the largest glassworks in the Balkans, Druzhba and Stind, helping to solve complex problems with the management, workers and unions. PM & P also assisted the firm with the subsequent restructuring through merger of Stind Druzhba with retention of the status of the receiving company as public and then provide permission for concentration by the Commission for Protection of Competition.
Another key example of their work in the construction industry is their work counseling and representation on Knauf in the privatization of the largest manufacturer of gypsum fibreboard panels Gipsfazer (project for over 15 million Euros), including addressing the problems with indebtedness and foreclosure on collateral in this regard and the subsequent optimization of the shareholding structure transfer of the business.
These examples showcase the firm’s experience in this ever growing sector, and with the future only set to bring renewable energy even further into public and Governmental interest PM & P look set to grow this area of business in the future.
Company: Penkov, Markov & Partners
Address: Iztok Dstr., 13B,
Tintyava Str., Floor 6, 1113
Telephone: 359 (0) 2 971 39 35