Renewables

Bulgarian fishers oppose draft offshore wind power law

Bulgarian fishers oppose draft offshore wind power law

Photo: Bente Jønsson from Pixabay

Published

December 18, 2023

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Published:

December 18, 2023

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A group of legislators proposed a law to facilitate the installation of offshore wind power turbines in the northern part of the country’s Black Sea waters, but a group of fishers are demanding a public discussion on the impact, threatening to paralyze road traffic.

Adding to numerous existing restrictions, offshore wind turbines will leave a neglectable area to work, head of the Black Sea Sunrise fisheries association Emil Milev told Radio Varna. Fishers from the northern Black Sea are prepared to protest and block roads in a campaign against the draft Law on Energy from Renewable Sources in Maritime Areas, he claimed.

Black Sea is already too poor for fishers

The proposal envisages the installation of wind generators offshore Shabla and Kavarna in the Dobrich province and near Varna. The group of legislators in the National Assembly that submitted the draft said concessions should be given for a period of 30 years. The fishermen are demanding a round table to discuss the effect on marine and seabed life, ecosystems and fishing, Milev pointed out.

“The water area where we can work is very small, and the Black Sea is too poor – we work at a depth of 100 meters,” he commented. The changes underway will prevent trawling, Milev stressed. The fisheries representative stressed that scientific institutes need to be consulted.

Turbines would need to be at least 20 kilometers from coast

The lawmakers are pushing to reserve areas for offshore wind power plants, particularly in the vicinity of the Shabla seaside resort. They argued that 6 GW of capacity could be quickly installed there. However, they acknowledged that to safeguard tourism and preserve ecosystems, the facilities need to be between 20 and 50 kilometers away from the coast.

The draft aims to regulate the competencies of relevant institutions, coordination such as for spatial planning, maritime surveys and the methodology to determine suitability. The responsibility would be shared between the ministries of energy, regional development, transport, environment and water, and several agencies. The minister of energy is seen as the coordinator.

Concessions would be approved through competitive bidding so that the lowest electricity price is secured, the lawmakers said. The investors would sign two-way contracts for difference (CfDs).

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