The Bulgarian government’s ‘National Renewable Energy Action Plan’ is failing to tap the full potential of Bulgaria’s locally-produced and pollution-free wind power, and failing to harness the full potential of the country’s fast-growing wind energy industry.
At the international conference “Wind Power in Bulgaria: gearing up for 2020”, held today at the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia, renewable energy experts from Bulgaria and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) expressed their disappointment in the Bulgarian government’s energy plans.
“There is a disappointing lack of ambition in the Bulgarian government’s energy plans”, said Jacopo Moccia of EWEA. “The government has failed to take into account Bulgaria’s excellent wind power potential. Given the problems Bulgaria has suffered with security of energy supply, Bulgaria’s own wind power is too good an opportunity to miss.”
EWEA expects the wind industry to install 3,000 MW of wind power in Bulgaria by 2020 – but according to the government’s Renewable Energy Action Plan only a surprisingly low 1,256 MW wind power will be in place at the end of the next decade and grid access for wind power would be capped at 1,800 MW.
EWEA calculates that Bulgaria could generate between 13.5% and 15% of its total electricity consumption in 2020 from wind energy, reducing the energy dependency of the country substantially, creating long lasting jobs in the energy sector and attracting massive investments.
“Our politicians need to take wind energy more seriously and to give a clearer commitment to it”, said Velizar Kiriakov, President of the Association of Producers of Ecological Energy (APEE). “It is hard to understand why the government seems to favour fossil fuel and nuclear rather than wind power, which has no fuel or carbon costs and produces no waste. The government is putting substantial green investments at risk.” Kiriakov underlined that Bulgaria had received “expressions of interest to build 8,000 MW of wind power”.
Martin Dimitrov, Chair of the Economic and Energy Committee of the Bulgarian National Parliament, expressed very strong doubts at the conference today about the economic viability of the proposed Belene nuclear power plant. “I want a profound economic analysis of the nuclear power plant project Belene”, said Dimotrov.