BTA News

Bulgaria Doubles Share of Renewable Energy in a Decade, Reduces Coal Use

Since 2010, Bulgaria has increased the share of renewable energy produced from 8% to 15%, maintained the share of liquid fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and reduced the share of solid fossil fuels from 37% to 26%, according to figures presented by the European Commission (EC) on Tuesday.

The share of fossil fuel import dependence in Bulgaria has dropped from 40.15% to 36.14%. Following the war in Ukraine, Bulgaria has diversified its gas suppliers but remains dependent on fossil fuels, the EC summarises.

Data show that the share of energy poor people in Bulgaria is dropping, but remains almost three times higher than the EU average. In 2020, 22.2% of citizens in the country were late paying their energy bills, compared to 19.2% in 2021 and 18.8% in 2022, compared to 6.9% in the EU. Energy poor people in the EU increased by 0.4% in the past two years.

Bulgarians who report that they cannot afford to keep their home warm were 27.5% percent in 2020, 23.7% in 2021 and 22.5% in 2022. EU figures, by comparison, rose from 7.5% to 9.3% respectively.

It was recommended that Bulgaria further reduces its dependence on fossil fuels and accelerates the deployment of renewable energy capacity. According to the EC, Bulgaria needs to increase energy storage capacity, make the energy system more flexible and further develop the electricity grid. The EC recommends improving the digitisation of the electricity grid and its interconnection with the grids of neighbouring countries. It further suggests finding forward-looking solutions for district heating.