Electricity

Bulgaria asks help from European Commission to phase out coal

Bulgaria asks help from EU to phase out coal boyko borisov

Photo: Boyko Borisov (Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria)

Published

October 21, 2020

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Published:

October 21, 2020

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has asked the European Commission to help countries in Central and Eastern Europe to phase out coal.

Borisov said Bulgaria can only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. However, the commission has proposed a 55% target on the European Union level, while the European Parliament wants a 60% cut. Negotiations are underway to establish the joint target.

Bulgaria can achieve a 40% cut in emissions, while the EU eyes setting the goal at 55% to 60%

A reduction of emissions of 40% is all that Bulgaria can achieve alone, Borisov said, according to Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers.

Not only Bulgaria, but all countries of Central and Eastern Europe need help

He repeated the country strongly supports climate action, environmental protection, and low-carbon development, but that at the same time Bulgaria wants the European Commission to come up with a plan for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where the vast majority of energy is generated from coal.

Bulgaria, for example, produces 60% of the energy from coal, he said.

In order to move forward with his idea, Borisov talked to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Bulgarian experts will very soon send a letter to the EU’s executive body with a list of issues the country would face if it accelerates the coal phaseout.

Commission asks Bulgaria to implement measures to support coal phase-out

The commission published an assessment of Bulgaria’s final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) a week ago.

NECP sets a 30% share of renewables in consumption of electricity compared to 21% in 2020

In the document, it asked the Balkan country to consider climate and energy-related investment and measures including support for a coal phaseout strategy with a clear timeframe commitment as well as to ensure a just transition of coal and lignite-reliant areas.

In 2030 about 30% of electricity generation should come from coal

NECP sets a 30% share of renewables in gross final consumption of electricity by 2030 compared to 21% in 2020, and an increase to 43% for heating and cooling from 31%.

Between 2020 and 2030, net installed capacity of power plants generating electricity from renewables is expected to increase by 2.6 GW (solar by 2.2 GW, wind 250 MW, biomass 230 MW). According to NECP, in 2030 about 30% of electricity generation should come from coal compared to 48% in 2020.

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