In the aftermath of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, it is imperative that European countries embark on a new energy policy pathway towards independence from fossil fuel imports. Unlocking the full potential of the European seas for offshore wind energy would play a key role in achieving the EU’s energy and climate security targets in the coming decades until 2050. Bulgaria is the only littoral EU member state yet to begin developing the sector. This policy brief is intended to support Bulgarian policymakers on their journey of adopting and implementing a regulatory framework for offshore wind energy roll-out, while bridging existing governance gaps in the national energy policy. It draws out the contours of a new regulatory framework that reflects the experience of mature markets in Europe.
The adoption of a special law, a Bulgarian Offshore Renewable Energy Act, would be the optimal approach to avoid potential conflicts with other existing legislative acts and secondary legislation. The law would serve to coordinate the competencies of the authorities that govern the different phases of offshore wind project implementation (including planning, construction, operation and decommissioning of power generation facilities at sea). The law will open up market competition and would attract experienced companies from mature markets in Europe. It would guarantee that the Bulgarian government will be positioned to develop the areas with the best natural wind energy potential in the Bulgarian section of the Black Sea at the lowest cost for society and in the most sustainable manner.