The Ministry of Energy hosted a new meeting to discuss the draft Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2030 with a horizon of 2050. Representatives of business, trade unions, the non-governmental sector and the state discussed the main proposals for changes to the document received by stakeholders after the draft was published on 17 November 2023.
The organizations that have sent their opinions on the project so far note that the strategy should guarantee the development of Bulgarian energy and the provision of safe, clean and affordable energy. The proposals also refer to the maximum promotion of the participation of the Bulgarian industry in the energy transition. According to the various opinions, the strategy should specify the vision in the field of development and implementation of innovative solutions, including – in relation to renewable hydrogen. Clarification of Black Sea energy utilization opportunities and carbon dioxide capture, storage/utilization were also among the questions raised.
The participants in the discussion requested that measures to guarantee employment in the coal regions be added to the strategic document by involving the existing expert potential in the reclamation of the fields. Opportunities to improve the qualifications of the employed were also put on the agenda.
Clearly measurable milestones and targets to be written into the strategy to serve as an indicator of progress and to take corrective action if necessary - these are another part of the questions asked.
Specific measures and instruments to support the development of the hydrogen economy, principles and policies for the development of renewable energy communities, as well as plans for the development and utilization of the potential of domestic, industrial and agricultural waste with the application of innovative low-emission technologies - these are another group from the proposals received.
Ivan Hinovski from the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum suggested that the document also include a new market approach for the development of RES based on quotas and production tenders. He also emphasized the need to deepen the policies for the development of the energy communities for RES, as well as for the exploration and extraction of natural gas in the country.
Meglena Antonova from Greenpeace Bulgaria expressed a similar opinion about the energy communities for decentralized production from RES. If they become part of the strategy, incentives for their development can subsequently be provided on this basis, she believes.
Svetoslav Benchev from the Bulgarian Oil and Gas Association emphasized the security of transport supplies and the need to develop the charging network outside the cities. He noted as a drawback the lack of discussion on energy efficiency in transport, as well as the development of RES in this sector.
Teodor Dechev from the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria asked for guarantees that the Bulgarian industry will be maximally involved in the energy transition.
According to Plamen Pavlov from the Bulgarian Gas Association, one of the highlights of the strategy should be the liberalization of the market.
Alexander Zagorov from CT "Podkrepa" pointed out that the energy strategy should be a short, fundamental document that can be upgraded and developed. The concrete measures for the implementation of the strategic objectives should be recorded in subsequent program documents.
According to Svetoslav Ivanov from the Bulgarian Natural Gas Association, the draft strategy lacks a vision of how to replace one local resource (lignite) with another (natural gas) in the short term.
Prof. Valentin Kolev from the Technical University drew attention to the fact that a few years before 2050 units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP will be decommissioned, and the planned two new nuclear units of 1000 megawatts each will not be sufficient base power with view of the boom in the development of RES.
Apostol Dyankov from WWF drew attention to the need to include heating RES technologies more widely in the strategy. According to Sonia Kadieva from the Free Energy Market Association, the development of all market zones adjacent to Bulgaria should be taken into account in the draft energy strategy.
In conclusion, the Deputy Minister of Energy Krasimir Nenov summarized that the work on the draft Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2030, with a horizon of 2050, will continue. The project must be further developed and brought into line with the Integrated National Energy-Climate Plan, which is currently being updated. This modernization is due to be completed by mid-2024. Our expectations are to continue the intensive work and dialogue on the strategy with all interested parties in order to get the best possible result, said Deputy Minister Nenov.