After several delays, the EU is about to formally adopt a EUR 6.3 billion grant package for Bulgaria as the European Commission finally endorsed the country’s recovery and resilience plan.
The European Commission adopted a positive assessment of Bulgaria’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan worth EUR 10.4 billion, of which EUR 6.3 billion is in grants and the remainder should be provided through public and private financing. The package was approved after several delays. It is part of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which makes up most of the NextGenerationEU spending program for a rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.
The funding is intended for the green and digital transitions, strengthening economic and social resilience and the cohesion of the single market. The Council of the EU now has four weeks to formally adopt the plan.
Power sector emissions to be cut 40% by 2025
The commission’s assessment finds that Bulgaria’s plan devotes 59% of its total allocation to measures that support climate objectives. It includes tripling power generation from renewables by 2026, cutting greenhouse gas emissions of the power sector by 40% by 2025 and setting out a framework for a coal phaseout. Sustainable transport is also promoted, as are measures in the areas of water management and biodiversity conservation and restoration.
“It is one of the greenest plans we have approved so far,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Sofia at the event with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.
Plan enables support for 1.4 GW in renewables with energy storage
The plan enables support for the installation of 600 MW in battery power with a total capacity of 6 GWh and 1.4 GW in power plants using renewable sources that would include energy storage. There are also incentives in the package for buildings with 10,000 households to install renewable energy devices. The energy sector decarbonization item is worth EUR 1.7 billion.
Energy efficiency measures are envisaged for residential buildings and public structures. The grants in the segment total EUR 924 million. The plan includes EUR 666 million for sustainable transportation.