Bulgaria urgently needs a new approach to energy planning

Public consultation on the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan has started, but no results yet

The XVI National Conference of the Association of Bulgarian Energy Agencies was held in Sofia from 27 to 29 November. Part of the event was a national round table on "Policies and investments for a sustainable, efficient and secure energy system". The conference was held on the initiative of the Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect with the support of the Ministry of Energy. 

Special guests at the round table were Deputy Minister of Energy Krasimir Nenov, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Angelina Boneva, Teodora Polimerova, Director of the Climate, Energy and Air Directorate of Sofia Municipality, Mariano Gonzalez, representative of the World Bank, and Assen Gasharov, representative of the European Investment Bank. The forum was opened by Dragomir Tzanev, Executive Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, and the importance of updating the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan was emphasized right from the beginning.

"This event marks the beginning of a transparent process in the development of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan", said Dragomir Tsanev. He stressed the need to involve stakeholders from the very beginning of the process of modelling and forecasting energy production and consumption. 

The roundtable provided an opportunity for open, transparent dialogue and exchange of ideas between government, business and society, providing a platform for constructive formulation of the country's future energy policy. 

"The delay of the IECP update process is a fact, but the Ministry of Energy team is trying to catch up with urgent actions," Deputy Energy Minister Krasimir Nenov commented openly. "There is an inter-ministerial working group with the participation of seven ministries and the Agency for Sustainable Energy Development. An updated model for decarbonisation and emission reduction and implementation of concrete measures in all sectors of the economy is to be developed," he added. 

During the event, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Angelina Boneva emphasized the need for energy efficiency to be central in the future version of the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan, stressing the importance of data-driven policy decisions. 

"We cannot continue social policy through a price subsidy and expect an increased contribution to energy efficiency. It is high time to take data-driven policy decisions," said Deputy Minister Boneva, stressing the need for new modelling and data updates in the new version of the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan.

The next two days of the event brought to the fore key topics and tools that will shape energy consumption trends in the household and industrial sectors, such as energy poverty, energy communities and energy management systems by local authorities and businesses. Results from recent studies of Bulgarian energy agencies were presented, as well as best practices for municipal energy management from Germany, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Ukraine. As a result of the event, reports from the discussions in the five working groups on the different dimensions of INPEC - decarbonisation, energy efficiency, energy security, internal energy market and research, innovation and competitiveness - will be developed and presented to the institutions and the public, and a next stage of the consultation is planned for early 2024.

Presentations here