Bulgaria, Applications for new RES projects exceed 33,000 MW

, SEE Energy News

In 2022 alone, ESO received applications for 17,500 MW projects

From 2019 to the end of 2022, 3,100 new solar and wind power plants, with a total installed capacity of 32,300 MW, were approved for connection by the Electric Power System Operator (ESO). For the sake of comparison, the total available power capacities in Bulgaria at the moment (combined power plants, nuclear and thermal power plants, hydropower plants, etc.) amount to slightly more than 12,000 MW.

In 2022 alone, the number of applications for the construction of new renewable energy sources reached 2,377, with a total installed capacity of 17,500 MW, according to the ESO report. For the sake of comparison – in 2021, ESO received applications from 115 investors for the connection of new RES, for plants with a total installed capacity of 8,465 MW.

During the first days of January 2023, ESO received 23 applications for the construction of new renewable energy sources, with a total installed capacity of 148 MW.

The huge interest can be explained by the high stock prices of electricity and the great uncertainty in the market, especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Green energy is completely independent of the import of raw materials and many times cheaper, and even free in the long run. This is why many companies are investing in their own solar systems.

In addition, there are more relaxed conditions for new renewable energy sources – for projects launched after January 1, 2021, with the exception of small rooftop installations (which have a preferential price) – they are exempted from the obligation to pay 5% of the income to the Security Fund power system.

High demands, modest performance

Despite these impressive data, practice shows that a significantly smaller number of approved projects have been implemented. ESO predicts that close to 500 MW of new RES capacities will be put into operation this year, while more than 200 MW have been put into operation in 2022.

Numerous factors are to blame for this difference between submitted applications and realized projects – complicated and slow administrative procedures, lack of network capacity for connecting new plants, delays in equipment delivery, insufficient experts for system installation, etc.

However, even if only 500 MW of new RES capacity is commissioned this year, it will still have a significant effect on the Bulgarian industry, as it brings a 35% increase in solar capacity. Hundreds more megawatts will work for the companies’ own needs, which will formally reduce the total network consumption.

According to ESO director Angelina Cačeva, projects can be realized on a completely market basis and without any state support, and forecasts say that the investment return period is less than 10 years.

Source: capital.bg