In Bulgaria and respectively in the Regions under review the community energy is practically non-existent. Cooperative law is outdated, there are no existing financial instruments that can support community power and people themselves are not used to cooperate in the name of achieving synergy and common good. The first step towards community owned energy saving projects are the multifamily residential buildings eligible for up to 100 % subsidy for renovation in case a condominium association is established. Regardless the proposed subsidy the owners of the buildings (note in Bulgaria more than 90% of the appartments in the residential buildings are private ownership of the families) find it very difficult to unite efforts and resources for preparation of such projects.
The other main barrier is the heavy procedure to get a permit for integrating a small scale renewable energy capacity to the grid and even greater challenge for integrating small renewable heat into an existing district heating network. The procedures are a nightmare and despite the promises of three consecutive governments they did not become very simplified.
The way ahead is small decentralized renewable energy owned by people and used by the people locally. In the poorest member state of EU it is even more crucial for the energy independence that the community power schemes get established against the odds.