Environment for RES / Energy Efficiency
SWOT Analysis for RES & Energy Efficiency
  • Large urban centers with high level of population concentration.
  • Satisfactory level of development.
  • Geopolitical importance for the Balkans.
  • Existence of actors with intense activity in the green energy economy.
  • Existence of research centers and universities with high-quality human resources.
  • Achievement of the target for penetration of RES until 2020.
  • Strong growth and penetration of PV in the energy balance.
  • Potential for further exploitation of geothermal energy and biomass.
  • Application of European directives on Energy Saving
  • Documented potential of RES (solar and wind) with long measurements over the last 30 years.
  • High wind energy potential.
  • Rural areas where the economic structure is distinguished by its coherence.
  • Areas with low accessibility level, due to lack of networks
  • Lack of transport links via road and rail network.
  • Low attractiveness to foreign investments
  • Accessibility difficulties – isolation – adverse climatic conditions
  • Concentration in urban centres — intense the phenomenon of abandonment of rural areas
  • Pressure on water resources
  • Existence of highly sensitive ecosystems
  • Low level of services regarding the quality of life in the rural areas (e.g. solid and liquid waste management systems)
  • Natural resources are not yet recognized as a strong source of income
  • Bureaucracy in the investments by foreign citizens
  • Non-stable environment for the payment of the produced energy from RES.

  • Existence of research institutes that are active in RES-ES.
  • Cooperation for the proper management of human resources aimed at promoting employment in green energy technologies.
  • High RES potential (solar, wind and geothermal energy).
  • Potential for investments in energy saving due to poor energy performance of the building stock.
  • Application of innovative and modern financial tools.
  • A large number of fields that can be used for geothermal energy.
  • Accumulation of economic activity in urban areas and coastal areas
  • High unemployment.
  • Increased energy poverty impact.
  • Depopulation of the country and mountain areas with the movement of the active population in major urban centres.
  • Reducing the guaranteed prices for RES.
  • Old buildings unsuitable for energy retrofit and RES installations.
  • Continuous modification of the regulatory framework for RES.
Related Programs in EEA Grants 2009-14

Chosen RES / EE Projects

Project facts:

  • Project Title: Norwegian Experience for Gabrovo in the Field of Energy Efficiency - NAGORE.
  • Project Objective: Improved energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Project Promoter: Municipality of Gabrovo.
  • Initial Project Cost: 249.432 .
  • Target Group(s): Children, Young adults.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

By using energy more efficiently, Europeans can reduce their energy bills, reduce their dependence on external oil and suppliers, and protect the environment. Energy efficiency must be increased at all stages of the energy chain, from production to final consumption. At the same time, the benefits of energy efficiency must compensate for costs, for instance those arising from renovations. As a result, EU measures focus on areas where the savings potential is greatest, such as buildings.

The EU has set itself the target of reducing energy consumption to 20% by 2020 (compared to the projected use of energy in 2020) – this is roughly equivalent to decommissioning 400 power stations. On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030, and measures to update the Directive to ensure the new target is met.

The Commission is optimistic that the 20% primary energy consumption target will be achieved if EU countries comply with their commitments and continue to apply existing EU energy efficiency legislation and successful energy efficiency programmes.EU countries have implemented energy efficiency measures in all sectors, and these have contributed considerably to a decrease in EU energy consumption. The EU's effort for more energy efficient future has also brought significant benefits for Europeans.

In the above context, improving the quality of life by improving the environment in Gabrovo with the implementation of energy efficiency measures in School of Mathematics "Acad. Ivan Gyuzelev" and "Zora" nursery. The implementation of the project contributes to the achievement of the main objective of the program, namely the GHG emissions mitigation and reduction of air pollution. The goal is achieved by improving the energy efficiency of public buildings – one school and one nursery in the City of Gabrovo, resulting of lower energy consumption and costs and an increase in the share of RES in energy consumption. As a result of energy efficiency measures, energy saving will be achieved in both buildings which will lead to cost savings for maintenance and will inevitably have a positive impact on reducing economic gaps in the European economy. The reduction of GHG emissions and reduction of air pollution, as well as the improvement of indoor climate in the buildings after the implementation of the rehabilitation activities, will lead to reduction of social inequalities in the European economic space.

Gabrovo kindergarten “Zora” and the School of Natural Sciences “Acad. Ivan Gyuzelev” Гюзелев’ can now be heated in a modern and economical way thanks to the energy saving measures under the project “Norwegian experience in energy efficiency for Gabrovo”.

Individual sub-projects:

The Project included:

  • Installation of new boiler in Gabrovo kindergarten.
  • Complete Replacement of heating System in School of Natural Sciences.


The funding of EEA grants made possible the construction of natural gas boiler room in the kindergarten and a complete replacement of the heating system in the school of natural sciences. The scheduled timetable for completion is from 18th August 2015 to 18th March 2017.

With the implementation of this project, all the measures for renovation of the school and the kindergarten have already become a reality! The thermal insulation of the roofs of both buildings has been made as a complementary measure to the municipal budget funds. The Municipality of Gabrovo will continue to maintain coherent energy efficiency policy. Renovation of the buildings of the last two primary schools, a project to replace street lighting in the city and a plan for the development of sustainable urban transport of Gabrovo will take place soon.

By improving the efficiency of the heating system in the secondary school and installing a new high-efficiency gas-fired boiler in the kindergarten in Gabrovo, the emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be reduced by 28 tons per year, and the energy savings from conventional sources will be 98.8 MWh per year. Direct beneficiaries are over 100 children, more than 600 students and about 100 teachers.

This is the second such project for the school. In 2009 the school building, the swimming complex, the sport facilities, the classrooms and the corridors were refurbished. What remained to be solved was the problem with the outdated heating system, which was built in the 80s and has so far undergone some repairs.

The construction of a new natural gas boiler room is the second project supported by the FM of EEA for kindergarten “Zora”. Because of these projects, they now have what they have been dreaming of for years –for the children and staff –comfort and good conditions, and for the parents - confidence that their children are being brought up in a modern children facility in compliance with European standards. The directors of the two institutions were pleased and recognized the good work of the Municipality of Gabrovo, the project team and all people involved in the implementation of the activities. The positive results also extend to the exchange of experience and know-how in Norway on energy efficiency, as well as the established partnership for future joint initiatives.



Pic. 1: Energy Efficiency in Gabrovo Kindergarten Pic. 2: Conference for Gabrovo Project Pic. 3: Improvement of Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Project facts:

  • Project Title: Implementation of Euro Electric Market in Bulgaria – II Phase.
  • Project Objective: Improved capacity at national, regional and local level on renewable energy solutions.
  • Project Promoter: Energy and Water Regulatory Commission.
  • Initial project cost: 1,519,800 .
  • Target Groups: Civil servants/Public administration staff.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

Since 2009 the European Union (EU) has adopted an explicit target for the share of renewable energy (RE) in the provision of gross final energy consumption. This was agreed in the context of the “EU climate and energy package” (the so-called 20-20-20 package) that includes: (i) a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels, (ii) an increase of the RE share in the EU’s final energy consumption to 20% (including a renewable share of 10% in the transport sector), and (iii) a 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency. The RE target has been converted to provide mandatory national targets that differ across Member States, considering their different starting points in terms of energy mix, renewables potential, GDP and past efforts (European Union 2009). Overall, the share of RE has been steadily increasing; its share of gross final energy consumption increased from slightly above 8% in 2004 to 14% in 2012 (Eurostat 2014a). In order to achieve long-term policy objectives, a continuation of the RE target was discussed in the context of the 2030 climate change and energy policy negotiation process (Geden & Fischer 2014). In October 2014, the European Council set targets of at least 40% for domestic GHG reduction, and at least 27% for the RE share in final energy consumption (European Council 2014). In addition, an indicative target of at least 27% is set for the improving energy efficiency. While the Commission’s Impact Assessment has analyzed two variants of the 40% GHG reduction scenario with different combinations of energy efficiency and renewable target (European Commission 2014b), there is a lack of detailed analysis of coherence between the individual objectives (see Flues et al. (2014) for an analysis of the electricity sector by a standard model).

European markets have evolved separately and at different speeds. In the early days, the driving force (since the end of the Second World War) was reconstruction and electrification and the command-andcontrol method adopted by nationally-owned utilities suited this effort. However, from the earliest days, the need to integrate was increasingly felt. This was addressed in Continental Europe particularly with regard to security and continuity of supply areas but in Scandinavia – with a lesser weight of reconstruction – the emerging case for traded markets began much earlier. In the UK, the impetus for privatization and the development of a spot market led much of European thinking. EU legislation towards competition began with the 1996 Electricity Directive. This focused on separating transmission from integrated services of general interest, separating production and distribution. It was, to an extent, modelled on the UK privatization in 1989, which created a day-ahead pool market. However, competition was also envolved in Norway with the introduction of a new law in 1991. At this stage, trading was essentially spot although bilateral contracts (in the UK, mainly through Contracts for Difference) were already in use for covering spot price risk. The second EU Energy Package dates back to 2003. This sought greater segregation between transport and trade and greater third party access. It was accompanied by the opening of several markets but with continued dominance by the incumbent utilities. The Sector Enquiry launched in 2005 aimed at exploring the slow development of competition and the lack of cross-border trade. The exceptions to this story were the UK and the Nord Pool's emerging market that now covered Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The Third EU Energy Package was adopted in 2009. It defines the current competition structure and institutions and has led to a process for cross-border competition. The belief is that cross-border access to markets will cause the market to function effectively and lead to a comprehensive single market. The key points of this narrative are that the development of competition in fast-growing energy markets has been slow in most cases but that some markets are much more mature and competitive. The growth of futures markets was equally slow as markets evolved to meet the growing needs of traders. Therefore, the competitive nature and profound negotiation of Nord Pool's immediate and future markets have evolved over time, while other markets are much slower to develop.

In the above context, the project contributes to the design of a new electricity market, and the necessary basis for the gradual integration of the Bulgarian electricity market with the similar markets in neighboring countries that incorporate Renewable Energy Sources. At a later stage, the link with the regional markets of mainland Europe is explored. The main deliverables of the Project are: - 'Start of the day ahead' market in Bulgaria (power exchange for physical deliveries); - Developing ideas, technical and organizational tools and undertaking specific market integration measures in Bulgaria with neighboring country markets (Romania, Serbia). This project provides for the signing of the respective agreements between the scheme and market operators with a coordinated allocation of capacities, in accordance with Directive 2009/72/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC and Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 and the tacit implicit allocation for daily and intraday schedules.

The second phase of the project for the introduction of the electricity market in Bulgaria was successfully completed. This was acknowledged by the beneficiary under the project – the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission and the participating partners- the Electricity System Operator and the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange.

The project for the introduction of the European electricity market in Bulgaria is based on the first phase, which was implemented in 2009 and 2010. The main recommendation of the work then was to develop a national electricity exchange by combining the experience of northern and continental electricity markets.

Individual sub-projects:

The Project included:

  • First Phase: Design of the Bulgarian Market.
  • Second Phase: Operation of the Bulgarian Market.


Further development of the electricity market in the country through the establishment of an organized “Day-ahead market” for physical delivery, steps towards integration of the market in Bulgaria with neighbouring areas and exploitation of effective tools for market surveillance are among the main work goals. Assessment of the development of the internal electricity market in the EU and the Bulgarian electricity market was made in the framework of the project implementation. KEVR elaborated a structure and monitoring activities, and have taken the first steps to integrate the Bulgarian market with the neighbouring zones. ESO and IBEX made suggestions for changes in the rules of electricity trading. These amendments introduce new market segments and contribute to the future development of the market towards its integration at regional and European level. IBEX and ESO explored the possibilities to organize and introduce an export area within the “Day-ahead market” as a first step towards market integration.

As part of the indicators for the successful completion of the project it is reported that in 2016, 2 515 808 MWh of electricity, or 5.5 % of the total production in the country, were traded on the “Day-ahead market” of IBEX. There is also an increase in the number of registered participants in the exchange - from 37 in April 2016 to 48 in December 2016.

A total of EUR 32 million will be allocated within the second programming period under Programme BG 04-2014-2021. A great focus for the period will be the energy efficiency and the use of geothermal and water potential in the country.



Pic. 1: 1st conference for Bulgarian Electricity Market Pic. 2: The Minister of Energy in the project conference for Bulgarian Electricity Market