In its ten-year network development plan, the Electricity System Operator (ESO) foresees an insignificant change of gross electricity consumption in Bulgaria. The ESO considers three consumption scenarios presented in the figure below:
The scenario of the integrated national energy and climate plan for gross electricity consumption without pumps is 1700 to 2700 GWh above the maximum estimate of ESO, as it starts from a higher consumption level in the base year – 2022. However, according to the guidelines of ENSTO-G and ENTSO-E, this is the scenario that should be taken into account as a baseline when developing the national plans for the development of the electricity transmission network.
The maximum scenario for the gross electricity consumption without pumps coincides with the trend of the reference one for the final electricity consumption in the country of the European Commission for the period 2015-2025. The minimum scenario envisages maintaining the same level of electricity consumption for the entire period, due to more intensive application of energy efficiency measures.
The planned generation capacities in MW according to the concluded preliminary and final contracts for connection at transmission and distribution networks are presented in the table:
According to the ESO, RES share by 2031 will approach 30% of the projected gross electricity consumption in the country. It should be taken into account that when electricity consumption is close to the minimum scenario, the share of RES in the final gross electricity consumption will increase. The implementation of energy efficiency measures will support the implementation of the national indicative goals, meaning instead of investments in the construction of new renewable energy power plants, additional investments should be made to reduce the energy intensity of the country.
With the accelerated introduction of RES and the lack of a significant industrial load in the country, the need to forcefully limit the working capacity of the NPP during certain periods of the year will only increase. In addition, the availability of Hydro-pump storage plant “Chaira” in pumping mode is limited to 4 to 6 hours at maximum power and at optimal level of the lower dam. Increasing the volume of the lower dam, by connecting it to the Yadenitsa dam (under construction), would significantly increase the availability of Chaira in reverse mode. This will mitigate the problems of balancing the increased RES capacities, according to ESO.
The results of the calculations, carried out by each regional system operator for the development of the production and consumption of electricity, outline the main directions of electricity transmission in South-Eastern Europe and the possible “bottlenecks” in the network. The forecasts of the Turkish operator for 2030 and 2040 are for a significant growth of new generation capacities, with a low price of electricity and the possibility of year-round export. At the same time, in the Bulgarian electricity system, no investments are foreseen for new large-scale sources of electricity, available 24 hours a day, which do not emit greenhouse gases. This would increase the transit flows of electricity through our transmission network in the east-west direction and could make the Bulgarian-Turkish and Bulgarian-Serbian borders bottlenecks that would limit electricity trade. The transit of electricity through our country would become even greater, with a reduction of generating capacities in the “Maritsa East” complex.
After 2034 it is planned to build a second electricity interconnection with Serbia and a third power line with Turkey, which are not within the scope of the current 10-year plan of ESO.
Source: Electricity system operator