Study: Bulgaria to develop new RES power plants and its nuclear energy

Bulgarians expect environmentally friendly energy not to be more expensive

Energy / Bulgaria
3E news
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Bulgaria must develop its energy in the direction of new renewable sources and construction of new nuclear facilities. This shows a sociological survey on energy conducted by the National Center for Parliamentary Research. The survey involved 1,000 respondents who have reached the age of majority, and the survey was conducted in September this year.

The data show that every fourth interviewee (27%) believes that Bulgaria should give priority to developing nuclear energy, which currently has the second most significant share of production in our country. 36 percent of Bulgarians support the development of photovoltaic energy in our country. Among the other types of primary energy that need to be developed, Bulgarians believe that it is best to have hydropower plants (25%) and wind energy, which is also supported by one in four respondents.

In September 2020, the majority of adult Bulgarian citizens (62%) support the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria as a whole. This position is most clearly expressed among respondents defending the thesis that Bulgaria can be energy independent. This thesis is not supported by younger respondents, people living in the capital, the uneducated and the Roma.

More than half of the country's adult residents approve of the construction of the Belene NPP. We register the greatest support among people with high awareness on issues related to energy, supporters of the thesis of energy independence of the country, respondents over the age of 50, people with higher education, analysts explain.

The majority of those who indicated that Bulgaria should optimize the use of its own resources approve:

- construction of new capacities of Kozloduy NPP;

- the construction of the Belene NPP.

The attitudes of the Bulgarians are similar in the survey conducted by 3eNews together with the Trend agency, according to which the majority of Bulgarians support the development of nuclear energy in our country.

Priority for natural gas and weak support for coal

It is also clear from the current study that every fifth adult Bulgarian citizen believes that natural gas should be a priority in the country's energy sources. In this regard, the construction of new gas power plants also receives significant public support (60% of respondents).

Only 4% are of the opinion that coal and coal fuels should be developed as the main energy source. At the same time, public attitudes are divided over whether or not existing coal-fired power plants should be shut down. The main reservations regarding the closure of these heating plants are related to public fears that this would lead to an increase in unemployment in our country, and the fired employees would find it difficult to find work in another field, the study shows.

The prevailing public position is that the jobs of the employees in the thermal power plants must be preserved, looking for solutions for the harmful and protection of human health. However, one in four is adamant that TPPs should be closed at all costs, looking for options for retraining their employees.

Diversification

Every fifth interviewee is of the opinion that the emphasis in the Bulgarian energy policy should be the diversification of the sources and suppliers of energy importers, including by using those outside the EU. A quarter of the respondents, who identified themselves as informed and actively seeking information about energy, indicated diversification as the best way for the development of Bulgarian energy. The understanding that Bulgaria cannot be completely energy independent dominates among these people. More often these are young people, highly educated, living in the big cities of the country.

Every third adult Bulgarian citizen is of the opinion that the Bulgarian energy system should be developed through better use of its own resources, including the construction of a new nuclear power plant. This position is shared more often by respondents who have declared higher interest and awareness on energy issues; interviewees who are of the opinion that Bulgaria could guarantee its energy independence; people between the ages of 40 and 59 and living in small towns and villages.

Environmentally friendly electricity, but at an affordable price

Almost 72% of respondents expect clean energy to be no more expensive than electricity produced by other plants. Only 14% of the interviewees agreed that the price of electricity produced according to the highest environmental requirements should be higher. Among them are more often middle-income households with higher education living in the capital Sofia. At the same time, when it comes to renewable energy sources, the results show that the majority of respondents express their preferences for solar energy - 44% indicated solar parks and photovoltaics as the source that best meets environmental requirements. Secondly, nuclear energy (15%) and wind turbines (15%) are significantly less common.

Expectations to the state for energy efficiency

The least mentioned decision for the development of the Bulgarian energy sector goes through the reduction of energy costs. Every tenth adult Bulgarian citizen supports such an approach, the survey shows. Most of the people (60%) are of the opinion that the state should provide the funds for the rehabilitation of the blocks. Just over 18 percent of people are inclined to participate in the renovation of their buildings.

The state should be responsible for development

The majority of Bulgarian citizens expect the development of energy in Bulgaria and its management to be more like the responsibility of the state. It must provide a lower cost of energy services for the population, while respecting environmental requirements. The understanding that the development of the modern energy system will increasingly depend on the combination of high technology and ecology, remains out of the public eye, which is still focused on the price of the service, according to the survey.

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