Bulgaria is preparing to launch its Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Security Program, with an estimated EUR 33 million budget to finance street lighting, geothermal and hydropower utilization, energy efficiency in buildings, and other projects, the Ministry of Energy has said on its website.
For the first time in the current programming period, beneficiaries may also be businesses seeking to improve the efficiency of their production, said the ministry, which manages the program. The official launch of the program has been scheduled for May 22, according to the announcement.
The program is divided into four areas – developing small hydropower plants (HPPS) in water supply systems, new geothermal energy installations, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industry and municipalities, and competence building in the program relevant areas, according to a document available on the website of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.
85% of program funding comes from EEA grants
Bulgaria’s Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Security Program is funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. The program has been successfully deployed in Bulgaria, and its budget has doubled over the current programming period, thanks to the ministry’s strategic partnership with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate and the National Energy Authority of Iceland, according to the Bulgarian ministry’s website.
The program budget coming from the EEA grants is EUR 28 million, representing 85% of the total budget, while the remaining 15% comes from Bulgaria’s own funds, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.
The agreement on the program with Bulgaria was signed in June 2018, and the next step is matchmaking, which should take place before summer 2019, while public calls for project applicants will be gradually launched after the summer. Projects can be awarded until 2021, and must be completed by 2024.