Bulgaria set for massive growth in wind power
Recent wind-energy workshop attendees have been told
that Bulgaria is set to dramatically expand its wind
power output in the next 10 years. From the current 330
MW installed to over 3,000 MW by 2020, wind energy will
meet 13.5 percent of Bulgaria’s electricity demand.
The workshop, organized by the European Wind Energy Association
(EWEA) in cooperation with the Bulgarian Association
of Producers of Ecological Energy (APEE), pooled industry,
government representatives, and national electricity
companies together to discuss the potential for wind
power development in the country.
“With installed capacity increasing more than fivefold
in less than two years, Bulgaria is one of the fastest
growing markets for wind energy in the world. Moreover,
it has another 8,000 MW of wind projects in the pipeline.
If current planning and grid access barriers are streamlined,
Bulgaria will soon be one of Europe’s wind energy front-runners,
reaping the economic benefits in the form of new jobs,
reduced fuel import dependency and technology development,”
said Christian Kjaer, EWEA’s chief executive.
The EU directive establishing mandatory targets for renewable
energy for all EU Member States requires Bulgaria to
increase the amount of renewables in its energy mix to
16 percent by 2020, up from the current level of 9.4
percent. Bulgaria must submit its national action plan
– outlining the measures it will take to boost renewable
energy – by June 2010.
Kostadinka Todorova, director for Energy Efficiency and
Environmental Protection at the Bulgarian Ministry of
Energy, said that the administration is well on track
to submit the first forecast document to the European
Commission. “We are working on a new renewable energy
law. Once in place, it will attract even more investment
to the sector in Bulgaria,” she said.
“Bulgaria is well placed to exceed its target, which
would allow it to create revenues by selling excess Bulgarian
renewable energy production to Member States struggling
to meet their targets. This could create revenues of
15-20 billion Leva by 2020 (EUR7.5-10bn),” said Velizar
Kiriakov, APEE’s President
“Investors and developers have already shown strong interest
– demonstrated by the fact that wind energy capacity
will have doubled by the end of 2009 compared to the
previous year,” added Kiriakov. “Wind energy offers highly
workable solutions to the current triple-layered crisis
– climate, financial and energy. Bulgaria must not miss
the chance to create a new industry which will bring
investments and create thousands of new jobs, curb CO2
emissions, and ease the dependency of the country from
neighboring fuel exporting nations,” he concluded.
In 2008, 36 percent of all new electricity generating
capacity built in the EU was wind power, ahead of coal,
gas and nuclear. On average, 20 wind turbines were installed
for every working day of 2008. By the end of 2008, a
total of 160,000 workers were employed directly and indirectly
in the sector, which saw investments of about 11 billion
Euros in the EU.