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The potential of Bulgaria for production of renewable energy is 4,500 ktoe annually

Published on , , Sofia

The technical potential of Bulgaria for production of energy from renewables is approximately 4,500 kilo tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe), of which the largest share has the biomass - around 36%, followed by hydroenergy - with around 31%. This is written in the forecast document, published by the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (MIET) on Tuesday. This document is the national plan of Bulgaria for the implementation of part of the EU scheme 20/20/20 - 20% reduction of carbon emissions, 20% of energy produced to be from renewables and 20% increase of energy efficiency. All this should be achieved by 2020. Bulgaria's commitment is to achieve 16% share of renewables by 2020. The plan must be presented to the European commission for approval by 30th of June 2010 but there is a condition - the plan to be published 6 months before this date.

The document also says that the geographic position of Bulgaria does not allow a serious increase of wind energy capabilities, as well as, an increase of tidal waves. According to the estimations of MIET by 2020 Bulgaria has the potential to produce hydroenergy worth 1,290 ktoe, energy from solid biomass - 1,524 ktoe, solar energy - 389 ktoe, geothermal energy - 18 ktoe, wind energy - 315 ktoe, etc. The expectations of the ministry are based upon the available information for projects for construction of new capacities. Thus, the ministry forecasts that the energy from renewables could be increased up to 1,955 ktoe annually by 2020, compared to 1,097 ktoe in 2005.

The document also presents a forecasts about Bulgaria's potential to take part in joint projects for renewable energy sources. With greatest potential is the Danube river and in a much lesser extent the Black Sea. The hydroenergy potential of the Danube is being researched since the middle of the 20th century. Last year the idea for joint projects has been renewed between Bulgaria and Romania. It is estimated that the project capacity of the 2 hydroenergy stations - Nikopol-Turnu Magurele and Silistra-Kalarash would be 800 MW each. However, the work on those projects is still going too slow and the assessments show that these projects would be very expensive.

The potential of the Black Sea is also not very well explored which prevents from making a reasonable forecast.

So far, Bulgaria has already constructed installations for production of bio diesel and bio ethanol with a joint energy equivalent of 382 ktoe. MIET admits though that there are a lot of organizational problems which prevent Bulgaria from implementing the requirements of the European directives for production of biofuels.

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