Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2023 All Rights Reserved

Bulgaria is among EU countries with highest share of renewable energy in total electricity consumption

Photo: library

The installed electricity generation capacity from wind power in Bulgaria amounts to 701 megawatts. The electricity generation capacity from solar energy amounts to 1043 MW, from water power – 3204MW and from biomass –only 78MW.

Recently, the uncertainties about the future of the Bulgarian coal-fired power plants and the vague future of the project for second nuclear power plant near Belene seemed to overshadow the problems surrounding the renewable energy. However, the renewable energy issues have become more topical against the backdrop of the climate change caused by human activity. In an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, the managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva warned that Bulgaria should not fall behind the green policies, because low-carbon economy will give a new impetus for investments and help create new jobs. However, Bulgaria risks falling behind these policies, despite the good results achieved so far in the renewable energy sector and the high share of the renewable energy sources in the total electricity consumption.

According to Eurostat, Bulgaria is among the 12 EU members that reached the renewable energy targets. In 2018 Bulgaria ranked 12th in the EU in terms of the share of energy from renewable sources. In 2018, renewable energy represented 18% of the energy consumed in the EU. In Bulgaria, renewable energy represented 20.5% of the total energy consumed in this country for the period, which was above the level of 18.7% reached in 2017 and far above the target share of 16% for 2020.

According to Eurostat, in the remote 2004 renewable energy represented only 9.2% of the total energy consumed in Bulgaria. Since then, this share has been constantly increasing and in 2018, it reached a peak of 20.5%. We should keep in mind that the share of renewable energy sources in the gross end consumption of energy is among the main indicators in the Europe 2020 strategy. According to the targets, the renewable energy should represent 32% of the total energy consumed by 2030. We are yet to find out whether Bulgaria and the other EU countries will reach the target.

Bulgaria, France and Greece vowed to update their national targets for renewable energy and increase the share of wind, solar and other types of renewable energy sources respectively to 27%, 33% and 35% of the total energy consumption by 2030, Euractiv informs.

Analysis of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) about the potential of the EU countries shows that by 2030 Bulgaria can achieve a 35% share of renewable energy in total energy consumption and that the energy produced by wind power plants will have a significant share in the renewable energy production. Many energy experts question this target having in mind the abolishment of the price stimuli for the renewable energy plants. The amendments to the Energy Act adopted in Bulgaria’s Parliament last year envisaged that the small renewable power plants are listed on the energy exchange. The producers of electricity from renewable power plants with a total capacity between 1 and 4 megawatts will shift from preferential to market prices and contracts with the Electricity System Security Fund for compensation with a premium. This caused discontent among the owners of small renewable plants who contend that these measures would affect their revenues.

It is difficult to strike a balance between economic and environmental indicators, especially in the energy sphere. That is why the European Commission itself has ascertained that the large-scale introduction of renewable energy has slowed down as compared to the initially accepted parameters. Renewable energy in Bulgaria remains marginal source of electricity at the expense of the coal-fired and nuclear power plants which are not expected to close down any time soon. On the contrary, the life span of the thermal power stations will be extended and another nuclear power plant is expected to be constructed near the Danube town of Belene.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

Bulgaria and Japan discuss new common economic priorities

The priorities for development between Bulgaria and Japan were discussed at a meeting in Tokyo by the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov and his Japanese counterpart Nishimura Yasutoshi.  Bogdanov emphasized that Bulgaria is becoming..

published on 12/6/23 11:58 AM
Dimitar Radev, governor of the Bulgarian National Bank

Bulgarian National Bank, commercial banks work to make Bulgaria ready for the euro

On Banker's Day, December 6, the governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), Dimitar Radev, congratulated all those working in the  banks in the country.  "The banking sector continues to be in a very strong condition and is a major factor in the..

published on 12/6/23 9:25 AM

It is a myth that Bulgaria has the largest grey economy in the EU

The level of the formal economy in Bulgaria is rising at a pace that brings it closer to the European benchmark of 85%. According to a study by the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), the formal sector increased by 23% in the last 12..

published on 12/5/23 10:57 AM