Eng. Kremen Georgiev: The development of coal mining and coal energy has led to an improvement in living conditions and an increase in people's living standards
"In order for the Bulgarian industry to have an upward development and to maintain our competitiveness on the European electricity markets, we must necessarily unite before the European Commission to remove the commitment that we ourselves have taken, to reduce emissions by 40% by 2026. This is the general goal of the broad association "Anti 40%", which included the Association of Heating Companies in Bulgaria, ministers, deputies, mayors, trade unions, energy experts and the managements of coal mines and heating plants," said Eng. Kremen Georgiev, chairman of the Association of Heating Companies in Bulgaria.
According to the expert, an important step for the development of the Bulgarian energy industry and the preservation of the jobs of over 100,000 people employed in the mines and power plants is the adoption of the National Energy Strategy. The expert stressed that the document should be prepared respecting the interests of all interested parties.
"It is important to follow the European rule 'Leave no one behind.' It is necessary to include experts from all fields in the development of the strategy, so that it is justified technically, technologically and economically. All of us in the association "Anti 40%" are of the same opinion that the National Energy Strategy should cover a 40-year period," said Engineer Kremen Georgiev.
The expert justified the long period with the need for serious investments, the realization of which requires a lot of time.
"The National Energy Strategy should also include measures to keep young people in their hometowns," said Engineer Kremen Georgiev.
The expert expressed his bewilderment at the circulated news that coal-fired thermal power plants have led to the deterioration of the population's health.
"Recently, I came across a study according to which the morbidity in the region of the Maritsa East complex is average for Bulgaria and lower compared to many settlements where there is no thermal power plant. The average life expectancy of residents in the district has increased by 10 years compared to the period before 1952, when the mines and thermal power plants began to develop. Do you know what the reason is? The development of coal mining and coal-fired power has led to the improvement of living conditions and an increase in people's living standards. I'm not an expert on flora and fauna, but according to the survey, there are many beehives in the area, rock swallows even nest in the cinders. Colleagues have told me that there are many hunting parties in the area, which means there are mammals and birds. But I know that the presence of animal species would be impossible if the air quality was not within normal values. And no, I'm not saying that coal power is the cleanest generation of energy, but when talking against it, no one takes into account the fact that all companies operate modern desulfurization facilities, electrostatic precipitators and other cleaning technologies that contribute to improving the impact on the environment," said engineer Kremen Georgiev.
Engineer Kremen Georgiev noted that Sofia Heating does not operate on coal, but the air in the Capital is many times dirtier compared to many cities with coal-fired thermal power plants.
"The reason for the dirty air in Sofia is mainly the hundreds of thousands of cars on the streets, not heating. Cleaning equipment can be installed in heating systems, but no one can oblige a person with insufficient income to buy an expensive and environmentally friendly car! The idea of installing filters on every smoking chimney, which also pollute a lot, was also strange. Who can maintain installations installed on hundreds of thousands of chimneys?" said Engineer Kremen Georgiev.
The expert pointed out that the Starozagorski region is in first place in terms of average salary, and unemployment is the lowest in the country.
Engineer Kremen Georgiev also criticized the proposals that the coal capacities be in seasonal reserve.
"This proposal was prepared by people who do not know what it is like to work in the mines or at the thermal power plants. I may be a representative of heating systems, but I have also seen the mines. Many people imagine that miners dig with picks and shovels and cart the coal away, but this is far from reality. Mines employ engineers, technicians, experienced professionals who operate modern, huge, high-performance excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers, wheel loaders and more. Coal extracted from some of the mines is transported tens of kilometers by rubber conveyors and electrified railway trains. Mine personnel are highly skilled and cannot be seasonal. The same applies to thermal power plants. Highly qualified personnel manage large facilities that cannot be stopped and started continuously," said Engineer Kremen Georgiev.
The expert said that decisions should be made jointly with experts of all any areas, not in the dark and in fulfillment of the interest of a small group.