Sofia, Bulgaria [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Bulgaria is set to dramatically expand its wind power output in the next 10 years, delegates at a workshop on integrating wind power in Bulgaria heard this week. From the current 330 megawatts (MW) installed to over 3,000 MW by 2020, wind energy is expected to meet 13.5% of Bulgaria’s electricity demand.
The workshop, organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in cooperation with the Bulgarian Association of Producers of Ecological Energy (APEE), pooled industry, government representatives, and national electricity companies together to discuss the potential for wind power development in the country.
“With installed capacity increasing more than fivefold in less than two years, Bulgaria is one of the fastest growing markets for wind energy in the world. Moreover, it has another 8,000 MW of wind projects in the pipeline. If current planning and grid access barriers are streamlined, Bulgaria will soon be one of Europe’s wind energy front-runners, reaping the economic benefits in the form of new jobs, reduced fuel import dependency and technology development,” said Christian Kjaer, EWEA’s Chief Executive.
The EU directive establishing mandatory targets for renewable energy for all EU Member States requires Bulgaria to increase the amount of renewables in its energy mix to 16% by 2020, up from the current level of 9.4%. Bulgaria must submit its national action plan – outlining the measures it will take to boost renewable energy by June 2010.
In 2008, 36% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the EU was wind power. On average, 20 wind turbines were installed for every working day of 2008. By the end of 2008, a total of 160,000 workers were employed directly and indirectly in the sector, which saw investments of about €11 billion in the EU.