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Dr Ivan Zhelyazkov of Power Engineers Union: Excess Energy Challenge Can Be Overcome Using Storage Batteries

Sofia, June 9 (BTA) – Excess energy from photovoltaic parks is a challenge that can be overcome through effective solutions for energy storage, Dr Engineer Ivan Zhelyazkov, Governing Council member of the Scientific and Technical Union of Power Engineers in Bulgaria, said in an interview for BTA. He was commenting on the excess energy that occurs on sunny days, which leads to negative electricity prices on the energy exchange.

He argued that lithium-ion batteries can store that excess energy for later use. That will not only stabilize the electricity system but will also prevent negative prices on the exchange by providing an opportunity for the stored energy’s use in times of shortage. Lead-acid batteries are cheaper to manufacture and are reliable under steady-state load conditions, but have a lower energy density, a shorter life of 1,200 to 1,500 cycles, and a slower charge rate than lithium-ion batteries, he explained.

“Bulgaria does have experience in the production of lead-acid batteries and potential for development. However, the global trend is moving towards lithium-ion and other more innovative energy storage technologies. We can exploit our potential in lead-acid batteries for specific applications, but the strategic focus should be on more advanced and efficient technologies,” the expert told BTA.

He noted that smart management of battery systems and networks is the future of the energy sector. Integrating energy storage battery systems in Bulgaria can realistically happen in the next 2 to 3 years. At present, the average price of such a battery is around EUR 200 to 300 per KWh. However, building a reliable infrastructure with a battery system will become possible only after legislative changes, Dr Zhelyazkov underscored. Batteries are not regulated by Bulgarian law at present, he specified. The next step after the legislative changes is a reduction of the administrative burden.