Hydropower plants in Bulgaria produced 31 percent less electricity in 2022 compared to the previous year, and in the first two months of 2023 a new drop of 32 percent was recorded compared to the same period in 2022. The dry winter directly affected the power system not only in country, but also in the region, creating new challenges.
Despite the lower production of electricity in hydropower plants, the accumulated amounts of water are also 11 percent below the average of the last five years.
If there are no significant changes in hydrology, we will probably have very low electricity production this year, said Martin Georgiev, executive director of the National Electric Company, NEK, at the Energy and Power conference organized by Kapital.
The production of hydropower does not only affect the total production of electricity and the revenues of NEK, but is also related to the balancing of the power system, considering that hydropower plants generally provide energy at intervals when it is most needed.
Also, energy storage is the most important element for the inclusion of renewable sources. Without it, the system with too large share of RES can hardly be balanced. Because of this, we may come to a situation of a significant lack of balance capacities, Georgiev assesses.
Also, according to the data published by the Bulgarian transmission system operator ESO, electricity production in Bulgaria in the period from January 1 to March 5, 2023 was reduced by 13 percent compared to the same period in 2022, to 9.15 TWh.
Electricity consumption in Bulgaria was also reduced in 2023, by 3 percent, to 7.88 TWh.
Surplus electricity amounted to 1.27 TWh in 2023, which is 47 percent less than in 2022.