Women remain sidelined from the debate on just energy transition, which in Bulgaria is mainly oriented towards preserving existing jobs for coal miners - an approach that reinforces the traditional patriarchal model and economic structures of the labor market. The EU energy transition (in Bulgaria in particular) offers a unique chance for women's participation and empowerment in economic and social life, as well as new opportunities for more jobs for them in the sustainable and green economy. The democratization and decentralisation of the energy system in Bulgaria and the EU can encourage their participation in energy communities (i.e. groups of citizens coming together to invest in renewable energy projects), as well as the investment and joint ownership of renewable energy assets, which can empower the more vulnerable groups in society.
To promote energy citizenship among women in Bulgaria, on October 20 2022, CSD, in partnership with the Association of Danube Municipalities "Danube" (ADM) and the Municipality of Belene organized a “Citizen Action Lab in the Context of Energy Transition.” Participants in the Lab were women from the city of Belene and the region who took part in a discussion on the social acceptance of low carbon technologies and their attitudes towards the creation of an energy community as a way to address energy poverty in their community and region. During the event, Dr. Lilia Yakova presented information about the objectives of the Lab, and Dr. Radostina Primova informed the participants about the energy transition, EU energy policy, the role of low-carbon technologies in this transition, and the essence of energy citizenship.