Energy: Bulgaria faced with its Achilles heel

Energy: Bulgaria faced with its Achilles heel

Bulgaria should give priority to gas, while developing its 2030 energy strategy, according to the study co-sponsored by the Shell Group and Baringa Partners consultants.

Otherwise, Sofia will fail to meet the EU’s environmental objectives as specified according to a report on the NGW website.

Bulgaria, which chairs the EU by the end of June, as pointed out in this study must develop the appropriate planning to develop the gas industry, reinforcing its role in the country’s energy mix.

At the same time, it is essential to liberalize the energy market, a process that seems to have long been delayed.

But the gas industry will be complemented by the parallel development of Renewable Energy Sources.

“Shell agrees with the results of the study, which concludes that the gas market in Bulgaria has the potential to make a decisive contribution to the elimination of coal from the country’s energy balance instead of the whole focus being placed on the RES”, the head of Shell Bulgaria, Kamelia Slaveykova has said.

According to the study, the crisis in Ukraine in 2009 has shown how vulnerable Bulgaria is to gas imports.

As a result, the country will have to seize the opportunities it has been given in the gas sector by developing new co-operations and by completely replacing coal, which has so far been the leader.

The signatories of the study welcome the initiative of the Bulgarian government to support the IGB gas pipeline, to participate in the South Corridor and to import LNG from Greece.

However, it will have to leave behind ship-or-pay contracts, which are currently monopolising the gas market.

Gas consumption in Bulgaria in 2016, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy, reached 3 billion cubic metres, imports accounted for 97% of the country’s needs, with only 3% corresponding to its own production.

What about the Turkish Stream gas pipeline?

This pipeline is another tool in the hands of Russia, according to the American Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who participated in the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics (EUMC) conference titled “Energy Transition: European and Global Perspectives “.

As a result, Bulgaria’s involvement in this project -according to the planning of the consortium that manages the pipeline, Russian gas could end up via the Turkish Stream to fYROMacedonia, Serbia, Hungary but also in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia- seems to be moving away …