Bulgaria’s Ecominister: We are Not Prepared with an Alternative to Coal Plants

Politics | January 31, 2023, Tuesday // 09:57
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Ecominister: We are Not Prepared with an Alternative to Coal Plants Thermal power plant "Maritsa Iztok 2"

The Recovery and Resilience Plan needs to be renegotiated. I believe that with the efforts of the caretaker cabinet and the experts involved in the task, we will be able to renegotiate it in such a way that Bulgaria shows enough ambition for its path to decarbonization before the EC,” said the Minister of Environment and Water Rositsa Karamfilova. She added that the measures should be proposed by the Ministry of Energy.

"Of the competence of the MoE, the most important thing is rather the renegotiation of the so-called intermediate goals. The key challenge is that with the implementing decision, in fact, our state has made a commitment to gradually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted year by year. Given the energy crisis from 2022, according to initial data, we are already in default", explained Karamfilova.

She added that now the goal is to convince the EC that the country will cope with the next global goal - reducing harmful emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 2007, when it became part of the European Union. The minister explained that the commitment made through the Recovery and Resilience Plan is additional and voluntary.

Karamfilova summarized that Bulgaria is among the most energy-intensive and busy sectors, because of the coal capacities. "At the moment, with the current and the force majeure circumstances, I do not consider that we are prepared with an alternative, but we must guarantee energy and national security," she added.

For the minister, the solution is to find an alternative for decarbonization through clear and gradual measures. Karamfilova does not rule out that there will be a delay in payments under the Recovery Plan due to unfulfilled eco-commitments.

She recalled that Bulgaria has 16 criminal procedures in the field of the environment, four of which have already been closed. The most serious violations are related to the quality of the ambient air. The good news is that there are still no payments for the violations, the minister pointed out.

"There is no investment intention to build a solar park in the waters of the Ogosta dam near Montana. This is just an idea. There is a working group that is working. It also includes our representatives. If there is an investment intention, we will make a decision with all the rigor of the law," Karmfilova said in response to a question. The idea has already caused protests by environmental organizations, and the leader of BSP filed a report with the prosecutor's office.

"Studena" dam is about to overflow

The minister recalled that there are 52 significant dams in Bulgaria, and the ministry determines how much water to use from them. "Compared to last year, their occupancy is 64%, which is 5% less, but this is not disturbing," she added.

There are problems with the Asenovets dam, from which water is drawn for Sliven. The dams of the "Arda" cascade, and especially the "Studena" dam, are about to overflow, and for the cited one, the volume is occupied by more than 93%.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Karamfilova, energy, emissions, EC

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