Developing wind power in Bulgaria

The EBRD has conducted a strategic environmental review of the development of wind power in the Dobrich and Varna provinces of Bulgaria.

The development of environmentally sustainable sources of energy is increasingly becoming a priority for governments and a business opportunity for national and international developers. Wind power is one of the renewable energy sources (RES) that has significant growth potential in Bulgaria, where strong winds blow from the coastal area. In just five years, the country wind power capacity, reaching 352 MW, has increased 46-fold.

More use of clean wind energy will help Bulgaria to meet the EU requirements in terms of RES share and it will reduce the need of energy import.

Preparing renewable energy policies

However, the implementation of wind power has preceded the development of adequate governmental policies. In order to assist the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (MEET) prepare a policy for the sustainable development of wind power in the country, the EBRD has committed a Strategic Environmental Review (SER), which was generously funded by Spain through the EBRD-ICEX Technical Cooperation Fund.

The SER, which included public consultations with local institutional stakeholders and the delivery of a best practice guide for the implementation of a wind energy programme in Bulgaria, provided environmental recommendations for regional planning and specific projects for the installation of wind power generation facilities, which may also facilitate the Bank's future involvement in financing such projects.

The creation of new wind power plants that are technically feasible, commercially viable and environmentally sustainable will enable the development of the sector in Bulgaria, while limiting the environmental costs.