At least 10 GW of installed onshore wind capacity could be realised in Northeastern Bulgaria (in the districts of Varna, Dobrich, Shumen and Razgrad) with high average wind speeds, low land use barriers and suitable environmental conditions. Nearly a third of the Bulgarian coastline is also suitable for offshore wind energy development with a potential of nearly 176 GW of total installed capacity. These are some of the findings of the latest study by CSD in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology on the potential for wind power generation in Bulgaria, which was presented during a roundtable discussion on Unlocking the potential for onshore wind, which took place on 26 September in Sofia.
In addition to the CSD team, the roundtable featured Julian Popov, Bulgaria’s Minister of the Environment and Water, Gustav Resch, Integrated Energy Systems Coordinator at the Energy Centre of the Austrian Institute of Technology, András Mezősi, Senior Research Fellow at the Regional Institute for Energy Policy Research (REKK), Victoria Kerelska, Head of Advocacy and Messaging at WindEurope, Angelin Tsachev, CEO of the Electricity System Operator, Miglena Stoilova, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Bulgarian Wind Energy Association (BGWEA) and Apostol Dyankov, Head of Climate and Energy Programme at WWF Bulgaria.
Julian Popov stressed that it is of great importance to give clearer guidance on the territories where wind technology can be developed, which will ensure greater predictability for investors in the sector. Angelin Tsachev claimed that Bulgaria is not ready to fully develop its wind potential and stressed the need for a transparent and objective grid connection cost allocation mechanism for investors as an effective instrument to accelerate final investment decisions for projects. Victoria Kerelska pointed out that the European Commission is preparing a regulatory package to unlock investment in the wind energy sector at EU level, which will include cutting red tape and digitalising the construction permitting process. Miglena Stoilova added that it is crucial to ensure investment predictability, for example, through the introduction of contracts for difference, which, on the one hand, preserve market competition, but, on the other, provide for more transparency on the cost of electricity generation for final consumers.