In the year 2020, Bulgaria had 77 MW of solar PV capacity connected to the grid, according to the Executive Director of the country’s Electricity System Operator (ESO), Angelin Tsachev. Speaking with Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), Tsachev said till the end of 2020, the cumulative installed renewable energy capacity of Bulgaria reached about 1.8 GW.
To this 1.8 GW, solar PV’s contribution is the highest at 1.1 GW, with the remaining 700 MW coming from wind power. “In 2020, they produced more electricity than the quantities set for them by the energy regulator to buy at preferential prices, and this electricity was sold on the free market,” local media quote Tsachev as sharing.
Going forward, Tsachev shared between 2020 and 2024 the country is expected to bring online another 700 MW of wind power capacity, more than 1.6 GW of solar parks and around 219 MW of biomass. For 2021, there are applications to connect 114 MW, a number Tsachev believes will continue to grow.
According to EU Market Outlook For Solar Power 2020-2024 (EMO) of SolarPower Europe (SPE), Bulgaria’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity till the end of 2020 was 1,139 MW and by 2024, it is expected to grow to 3,800 MW, which is higher than the country’s official target as stated in its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to be achieved by 2030 (see SolarPower Europe Says EU Added 18.2 GW Solar In 2020).
“Bulgaria’s solar target remains low as PV will only account for 2.6% of electricity in 2040,” the authors of the EMO claim, and add, “The current support schemes for solar in Bulgaria focus on PPA and prosumers and there is no auction system for utility-scale PV. Introducing an auction system could provide incentives and unlock the immense solar potential in Bulgaria, one of the highest in Europe.”
In August 2020, Enery Development of Austria proposed to build a 400 MW solar power project in Haskovo Municipality of Bulgaria with power generated to be sold under power purchase agreements (PPA) (see 400 MW Solar Power Plant Planned For Bulgaria).