Bulgaria, Country will be able to a derogation from reducing natural gas consumption

, SEE Energy News

According to the European Commission (EC), Bulgaria will be able to a derogation from reducing natural gas consumption if it is highly dependent on natural gas as a raw material for the main production.

Earlier this week, EU energy ministers approved a draft European law meant to lower demand for gas by 15 % from August 2022 through March 2023. The new legislation entails voluntary national steps to reduce gas consumption and, if they yield insufficient savings, a trigger for mandatory moves in the 27-member bloc.

The statement from the Commission said that Bulgaria is not an island like Ireland, Malta or Cyprus so that its gas transmission network is cut off from the European one. Nor is its network synchronized with the Russian one like those of the Baltic states. However, in principle, all kinds of derogations are possible.

At the same time, according to EU auditors, it is possible that the REPowerEU plan to reduce the dependence on Russian fossil fuels will not achieve its goals. They cite calculations by the EC, according to which additional investments of 210 billion euros are needed. However, the total amount of additional financing provided is only 20 billion euros.

Other sources of funding are outside the Commission’s control and depend on the willingness of member states to use remaining loans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility or to transfer funds earmarked for other EU policies, such as cohesion policy and rural development. EU auditors, therefore, warn that the amount of funding actually provided may be insufficient to cover expected investment.