Bulgaria: The Coal-powered Stations in Maritza East will Work at Least until 2030

The coal-powered stations in the Maritza East complex will certainly work until 2030, and investing in new technologies – maybe later. This provides for an Integrated National Climate and Energy Plan project by 2030, with a horizon up to 2050, presented to trade unions on Sunday, the CITUB and the Ministry of Energy announced the following day. This plan is a requirement of the European Commission to define the national goals of the Member States in the field and the policies and measures for their achievement. The document is to be consulted with Brussels and be publicly debated in parliament, with municipalities, citizens and non-governmental organizations.

The integrated plan should ensure that the Community targets for a 32% share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption, 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency and at least 15% interconnectivity by 2030 are achieved. Thus, the plan recognizes that the Bulgarian coal-powered plants, if granted an exception to the new ecodesign requirements coming into force in 2021, will be able to work by 2030, which the EC and the Ministry of the Environment have always argued, but the Minister of Energy Temenujka Petkova says that they will be able to get an endless derogation.

For the purposes of the document, a forecast energy balance has been developed based on a combination of forecasts for the extraction and import of energy carriers needed to ensure the fuel and energy consumption in the country. The projections cover the development of the electricity, heat, oil and other sectors, taking into account the opportunities for improving energy efficiency and preserving the tendency for export of electricity, the energy agency reports. However, no data are reported from the cited analyzes. In front of the trade unions, Energy Minister Temenujka Petkova explained that the forecast for the electricity sector takes into account the prerequisites for maintaining the role of local coal by 2050, the development of nuclear power and electricity generation from RES, on market conditions and with a focus on own consumption.

The integrated plan foresees an increase in the share of renewable energy sources in gross final consumption to 25 percent, the energy minister said. More, however, there will be no price incentives for producers of this type of energy and they will have to build their capacities entirely on a market principle.

The plan states that Bulgaria could have a new nuclear power by 2030, it became clear at a meeting with the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CITUB) and Podkrepa KT, but this is conditional because it depends on the private interest in the project and a number of other conditions, according to the trade unions.

In the integrated plan, our country has taken the necessary actions and measures laid down in the European legal basis for the construction of a sustainable Energy Union, ensuring the development of low-carbon energy, security of supply, energy efficiency improvement, market liberalization and the introduction of new technologies for combating climate change, the energy ministry adds.