Bulgaria's Green Power Output Down 30% in 2007

Bulgaria's Green Power Output Down 30% in 2007

Bulgaria's output of electricity from renewable energy sources decreased by 30% in 2007, compared to 2006, Dimcho Kanev of the National Electric Company (NEK) said at a forum on investments in wind and hydro power plants.

The decline may be attributed to the reduced output of the hydro power plants (HPP), but the country is capable of reaching the required limit of electricity generated by HPPs until 2020, according to Kanev.

Bulgaria will be capable of generating up to 2,000 mW of electricity annually from alternative energy sources, such as wind farms, HPPs, photovoltaic and biomass power plants, by 2020, according to Kanev, the Monitor daily reports.

The electricity produced from renewable energy sources in Bulgaria should account for 11% of the total amount of power generated in the country by 2010, Kanev reminded.

Wind power farms in Bulgaria are raising the price of electricity. The country has to increase the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the total volume of power generated in the country at the request of the EU. The investments in the so called green energy are proving costly to consumers, NEK's estimates show. The company is currently obliged to purchase 1 mWh of electricity generated by wind farms at a price of 170 leva. The electricity generated by photovoltaic batteries costs 720 leva per mWh. The more the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources increase, the more the price of electricity for consumer will go up. The electricity by wind power farms currently accounts for 8% of the overall power consumption in Bulgaria.

The price of the electricity generated by such power plants will go down after the 12-year period during which NEK is obliged to purchase the power at preferential prices expires, Kanev forecasts. The setting up of a 10-mW HPP will cost no more than 1 million leva, Kanev said. The investment will be repaid in a period of 8-10 years, Kanev added. The owner of a similar facility will be entitled to the entire profit afterwards, Kanev added.

Bulgaria is capable of generating at least 5,000 mWh of electricity through wind farms, according to Association of Producers of Ecological Energy. It is true that the green power is expensive at present but the preferential prices was set for a 12-year period. After that the cost price of 1 kWh of electricity will stand at 0.1-0.2 eurocents, which is 20 times less compared to the cost price of 1 kWh generated by a nuclear power plant, the APEE said.

The power generating capacity of the wind farms in Bulgaria will grow by 100% annually over the next three years, according to the APEE. Wind power generators with a total capacity of 10 mW were set up in the country in 2005. Further 22 mW and 38 mW were added in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The total generating capacity of wind farms in Bulgaria will amount to 105-200 mW by 2010, the APEE forecasts.

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