Bulgaria advised to include measures supporting coal phase-out strategy in its NECP

, SEE Energy News

EU legislation requires each member state to adopt a 10-year NECP with measures which will contribute to the bloc’s binding climate and energy targets for 2030. Bulgaria is one of four EU member states, along with Poland, Romania and Croatia, that have not planned any coal phase-out before 2030.

The European Commission (EC) said that it has advised Bulgaria to include measures supporting the coal phase-out strategy in its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) in order to ensure just transition from coal-based to more climate-friendly energy production.  This was stated in the EC’s assessment of the final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) of Bulgaria for the period 2021-2030.

The EC also advised Bulgaria to implement measures promoting investments in buildings renovation and focusing as a matter of priority on worst performing residential buildings as well as to consider improving its sustainable transport infrastructure and boosting sustainable mobility.

Bulgaria’s NECP establishes a share of 27.09 % of energy from renewable sources as the country’s contribution to the EU’s renewable energy target for 2030. This contribution is adequate, as it matches the EU target of at least 27 % by 2030.

According to Bulgaria’s draft strategy for sustainable energy development until 2030, the country has no intentions to shut down its coal-fired power plants due to the importance of domestic coal for its energy sector. However, it also plans to build additional 2.6 GW of installed capacity in renewable sources, mostly solar, by the end of 2030.

There are four operational coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria: state-owned Maritsa East 2, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3, AES Galabovo and Bobov Dol. Those plants, with a total installed capacity of 3,848 MW, produced roughly 39 % of Bulgaria’s electricity consumption in 2019.