Renewables

Bulgaria plans to add 4.9 GW in renewables capacity by 2031

Bulgaria add 4 9 GW renewables capacity transmission grid 2031

Photo: Dimitrisvetsikas1969 from Pixabay

Published

March 28, 2022

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Published:

March 28, 2022

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The Electricity System Operator – ESO of Bulgaria said it sees a 5.9 GW increase in capacity by 2031, of which 4.9 GW would be in renewables. The country’s transmission system operator added it doesn’t expect any nuclear power plants to be connected to the grid before 2032.

Gross electricity consumption in Bulgaria won’t exceed 43.3 GWh by 2031, according to a draft plan for the development of the country’s electricity transmission network until 2031, BTA reported. The document was developed by the Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The maximum electricity load in 2031 is expected to be 7.7 GW and the maximum load per average workday is seen at 7.1 GW. The forecast for the development of gross electricity consumption for the period until 2050 takes into account the estimates of the European Commission, the Sustainable Energy Development Agency (SEDA), the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAN), and the Ministry of Finance.

The share of hydroelectric plants in consumption is seen at a maximum of 30% in 2031

In accordance with the investment intentions for the 2022-2031 period, 5.9 GW in new capacity is expected to be installed, of which 4.9 GW would be from renewable energy sources, according to ESO, Bulgaria’s transmission system operator. The share of hydroelectric plants in consumption is seen at a maximum of 30% in 2031.

The draft plan foresees the connection of new nuclear capacities in the 2030-2040 period, but no such power plant can be connected to the transmission grid before 2032 even if the project starts this year, the document adds. Such a facility would require continuous research and coordination, ESO said.

Exports in the period through 2031 will depend on hydropower output in the summer season

In the winter season, it will not be possible to export electricity, and imports may be needed in some of the years in the ten-year period, the projected balance reveals. In the summer, the possibility of exports will depend on hydropower output, the draft shows.

ESO said the plan’s implementation would provide the necessary security of electricity transmission, including the necessary electricity exchange with neighboring countries.

Large renewable energy projects in pipeline

Of note, Bulgaria is also planning to set up nationwide networks of electric vehicle chargers and battery storage units.

As for renewable energy investments, German-based wpd recently said it would build two wind parks near the villages of Sokolovo and Trigortsi at the Black Sea shore in the northeast. The combined capacity of the planned 16 turbines at the locations in the Balchik municipality is 96 MW.

The company said the projects are at an advanced stage. Wpd also indicated it is interested in offshore wind as the country has significant potential. It is already working on such projects in neighboring Romania.

Also, Eurowind Energy from Denmark has established a joint venture with Renalfa which late last year had a development portfolio of wind, solar and green hydrogen projects of more than 1 GW including a 250 MW solar power plant project in Yambol province.

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