According to the Ministry of Energy, gross electricity consumption is set to increase by around 50% by 2020. In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity and to compensate the closure of the nuclear reactors, several projects to develop thermal capacities are underway, e.g. a refurbishment programme is planned at the 110 MW unit-3 of Toplofikacia Ruse. As part of the European Union Bulgaria is obligated to reach 16% share of renewables in the final consumption by 2020. The goal was reached in 2012, no further targets and actions were set to increase the share of renewables.
Constant changes in the legal framework for wind and solar power plants since 2011, including a moratorium on new installations until 2017 and the removal of feed-in tariffs for new projects as of January 2015, is complicating further development. For example, the Gorna Arda project led by NEK and Austrian company EVN, receiving governmental authorisation in 2009, was paused in March 2017 due to a difficult regulatory situation. There 3 hydro power plants with a total capacity of 166 MW were planned.
Still some other renewable energy projects are planned. One hydropower plant with a net capacity of 865 MW is still planned. A solar power plant, Devnya solar 1, is already under construction, with a net capacity of 15 MW. Also Bulgaria and Romania are still considering the construction of new hydropower plants on the Danube, which could produce up to 3,8 TWh/year.
Regarding biofuels, Bulgaria established a obligated minimum share of 6% of biodiesel and 9% of bioethanol by 2016. As the targets were not reached so far, the implementation phase was prolonged until 2019.
Last update: 07 2023