Bulgaria will continue to use its coal power plants in the following decade and further on, according to the national plan with a 2050 horizon, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said after meeting with representatives of two trade unions, local media reported. They discussed the European Green Deal.
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Podkrepa Confederation of Labour are against the European Green Deal in its current form.
Two trade unions oppose the abolishment of the state aid for coal power plants after 2025
The trade unions disagree with the targeted abolishment of the state aid for coal power plants after 2025 and transferring national income collected from the sale of emission allowances to the joint European Union fund. Their representatives say the ambition to cut emissions from 1990 levels can’t exceed 45%. The bloc’s objective for greenhouse gases has been lifted to between 50% and 55% from 40%.
The minister said the country’s coal sector would be protected but she added that the European Green Deal has a price. It will be reflected in changes in all parts of the economy, she warned.
The national energy and climate plan (NECP) states coal power plants would be in operation until 2030, with a horizon of 2050, Petkova said.
Two major problems for Bulgaria regarding the European Green Deal
Bulgaria now generates 40% to 60% of its electricity in the said power plants, the minister asserted.
She said the country has two major problems with the EU targets.
It is bordering non-EU countries Turkey and North Macedonia, which will continue to produce electricity from coal and use natural gas and they won’t have expenses for emission allowances, according to Petkova.
Their polluted air will continue to come to Bulgaria, she said, adding the issue needs to be discussed on the EU level.
In Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, 12 GW may need to come off grid by 2030
The second obstacle, in her words, is the shutdown of base electricity capacities in the region.
She claimed 12 GW in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania would need to be taken off the grid by 2030 in the category.
The region is facing a serious deficit of base electricity capacities
It will produce a serious deficit in the region, Petkova added.
Bulgaria now has power plants with an installed base capacity of 6 GW, she explained. Nuclear power plant Kozloduy accounts for 2 GW, while the rest is mainly in coal power plants, the minister stressed.
Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban recently has warned that the European Green Deal could take out 40% of the country’s installed power capacity.