Bulgaria, Record solar energy production on Monday

, SEE Energy News

Bulgaria relies more and more on solar energy to cover its domestic electricity consumption. The production of solar PV power plants at noon on March 13 reached a 25 percent share in total production, covering 30 percent of domestic consumption.

This represents a historical record on the Bulgarian market. Of course, when you look at the data for the whole day, the share of solar energy is much smaller and amounts to 9 percent.

By way of comparison, during the same time interval, Bulgarian coal-fired power plants produced 25 percent of the country’s electricity, i.e. the same amount as solar power plants. And the total production from all renewable sources – sun, wind and biomass exceeded 30 percent.

A similar situation was recorded on March 14, although the data has not yet been summarized and uploaded to the ENSTO-E register.

The result of the new reality is that during the day the share of coal-fired power plants drops seriously and equals that of solar energy. In the coming months, in all likelihood, Bulgarian solar power plants will exceed the share of TPP, as new solar power plants are expected to start up.

Also, thermal power plants should reduce their participation in the energy mix in intervals with the highest solar radiation. It is indicative that TPP Maritsa East 2 still operates with only 25 percent capacity during the day.

In Bulgaria, in 2022, close to 400 MW of new solar capacities were put into operation, which is why the total production of solar energy increased by 30 percent last year. An additional 700 to 800 MW of new PV power plants are expected to enter this year.

However, Bulgaria is generally moving slower than its neighbors in installing new renewable energy sources and is starting to import cheap electricity from Greece. The country, which is still a net importer of electricity from Bulgaria, has been exporting electricity to the Bulgarian market every day in the afternoon for the past few weeks.

The reason is precisely the large pool of solar capacity in the south, given that Greece added more than 1 GW of new capacity last year alone. Greece is expected to be a net exporter of electricity to Bulgaria during the summer.

The share of renewable capacity in Greece in the afternoon is almost 50 percent, and it is likely that during the summer months, Bulgaria will import cheap Greek solar power for most of the day.

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