Nuclear power will remain the dominant source of power generation in Bulgaria by 2030, despite the government’s plans to shift toward renewable power.
The Bulgarian government is collaborating with the United States and Russia in the development of new nuclear power plants. It is preparing the construction of a seventh unit at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant and the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology.
Nuclear power generation share in total power generation was 44% in 2020, and it is expected to remain above 40% until 2030
“Nuclear power generation was 15.9 TWh in 2020, making its share 44% in total power generation in the country and this is expected to remain above 40% until 2030,” said Pavan Vyakaranam, Practice Head at GlobalData.
Electricity demand in Bulgaria stood at 30.9 TWh in 2020.
The share of renewables was 22.1% in 2018
According to the draft Sustainable Energy Development Strategy of Bulgaria until 2030 with a projection until 2050, electricity generation from renewable sources is seen growing to 30.33% from 22.1%, registered in 2018.
Nuclear power will remain the dominant source for power generation in the country at least until 2030, estimated at 14.1 TWh per year, despite the government’s plans to replace it with renewable power capacity, according to analytics company GlobalData.
Vyakaranam said Bulgaria’s electricity market is currently in transition, with the government slowly decreasing its coal power capacity in order to replace it with renewable power.
Country plans investments with Russia, and US
Bulgaria has only one nuclear power station, Kozloduy nuclear power plant (NPP), with two units in operation after the decommission of units 1 and 2 in 2002 and units 3 and 4 in 2006.
In January 2021, the Bulgarian government approved plans for the construction of a seventh unit, using Russian-supplied equipment purchased for the Belene project. However, according to GlobalData, the schedule is still uncertain due to financial issues.
Bulgaria has also taken multiple steps toward the development of nuclear power in recent times including joining the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in January 2021 while Kozloduy NPP also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US-based NuScale Power for the deployment of its small modular reactor (SMR) technology.