June 23, 2024
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Bulgaria is well integrated with the neighbouring electricity markets

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Bulgaria has a diverse electricity production mix and a well-developed energy infrastructure, guaranteeing the security of electricity supplies for the country and the region. Bulgaria also has an important balancing role in the electricity system of Southeast Europe. The country is well integrated with other electricity markets as market coupling projects are introduced with the neighbouring countries, including Greece, Romania, and the Republic of North Macedonia. The construction of the new interconnector with Greece on the territory of Bulgaria is now completed and after 2032 planned construction of interconnectors with Turkey and Serbia.

A modernised and rehabilitated electricity grid is a key factor in increasing the resiliency and strengthening the national electricity infrastructure which will help achieve the strategic goals set by national and EU policies for market integration, electricity efficiency and increasing the share of RES in the energy mix.

Upgrading the electricity grid is regulated by both European and national legislation. Electricity System Operator EAD (‘TSO’), as a nationally licensed operator entrusted to maintain and manage the electricity grid is responsible for the expansion, reconstruction, and modernisation of the grid. Under the Bulgarian Energy Act (‘EA’), every year TSO produces a Network Development Plan (‘NDP’) which sets out the intentions for the development (construction, extension, reconstruction, and modernisation) of the electricity transmission network of Bulgaria (≥5MW) and interconnections, as well as related investments, for ten years. The NDP shall comply with the requirements of the European Network of Electricity Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) and the Synchronous Area Framework Agreement for RC CE.

The NDP is based on an intensive study of the current information regarding forthcoming changes in the generation, supply, consumption and exchange with other countries, the potential for optimization of the consumption, energy storage facilities or other resources as alternatives to the grid expansion, including the TSO’ short, medium, and long-term forecasts and programs for expansion and modernisation of the electricity grid. 

Unless there are imperative reasons beyond its control, when TSO does not make an investment that, according to the NDP, should have been made in the next three years, the Bulgarian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (‘EWRC’) obliges TSO to make the necessary investments if they still need to be done.

As part of the national policy, the Bulgarian Ministry of Councils approves an Integrated Plan (‘IP’) in the electricity and climate sector as well as its actualization by Regulation (EC) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action. An updated IP was announced in the middle of January 2024 for public discussions before its notification by the European Commission.

In line with the long-term targets set by the European Green Deal and the European Climate Act, the Ready for 55 Package, the REPowerEU Plan, the Recovery and Resilience Plans, including the goals for increasing the regional security of power supply, grid flexibility and stability, under the IP priority is given to the modernisation of the interconnectors Bulgaria-Greece and Bulgaria-Romania with regards to the development of the North-South Interconnections East Electricity corridor (NSI East Electricity).

Source: seenext.org

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