Natsionalen energien operator or NEO is a new firm within the Bulgarian Energy Holding. It was founded to develop and implement green energy and storage projects, Acting Minister of Energy Rossen Hristov said. Utilities throughout Europe have been increasingly separating renewable energy activities from their fossil fuel businesses.
Speaking at the Energy of Tomorrow conference in Sofia, Bulgaria’s Acting Minister of Energy Rossen Hristov said the country has to accelerate the decarbonization process and the introduction of green technologies. “The decarbonization of industry and life in general is possible mainly through electrification. Energy is at the heart of the green transition,” he stressed.
As part of such efforts on the national level, a new company was recently established within state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding – BEH. Natsionalen energien operator (NEO) will be tasked with developing green energy and storage facility projects. BEH said the firm’s activities would help balance the electricity system.
Electrification is basis for decarbonization
The implementation of green technologies in Bulgaria will be stimulated in cooperation with the European Commission, according to Hristov. Electrification is the basis for decarbonization and it is accompanied by energy efficiency measures, he added. Every country needs to adopt such policies, the minister pointed out.
BEH produces coal and operates the Maritsa East 2 thermal power plant
“I hope that we will soon become a European leader in terms of decarbonization and green technologies,” Hristov said. Bulgaria is one of the most carbon-intensive economies, but it is also an opportunity for introducing the latest technologies, he added.
New technologies, drop in equipment prices opened way for smaller green energy projects
“Ten years ago, in order to be cost efficient, energy projects had to be extremely large. It also determined the structure of the energy industry in large energy enterprises, which could afford the capital costs for the development of new capacities. As the implementation of renewable energy sources progressed, the price decreased and new innovative technologies began to appear, which allowed the fragmentation of the industry and access to many new flexible enterprises, which in turn contributes to decarbonization,” Hristov stated.
There is a growing trend among energy companies throughout Europe of separating their renewables portfolios from the operations in the fossil fuel sphere. BEH produces coal and operates the Maritsa East 2 (Maritsa Iztok 2) thermal power plant. The holding is also active in natural gas transmission, storage and supply.