Politicians and experts discussed the need for investment in energy efficiency in the context of the Green Deal during the “Green Deal – Innovation, Investment and Just Transition” conference. The forum was opened by President Rumen Radev. It was attended by Deputy Prime Ministers Grozdan Karadzhov and Asen Vassilev, European Commissioner responsible for cohesion policy Elisa Ferreira, EIB President Werner Heuer, EIB Vice President Liliana Pavlova and a number of government representatives, as well as MEPs. On behalf of KSB, Eng. Iliyan Terziev, chairman of the Board of Directors of KSB, was present.
“The climate and energy transition, innovation and investment are all key components of our collective prosperity. But for that prosperity to work, it needs to be spread and shared. That’s why the transition needs to be just or no transition at all,” commented Elisa Ferreira.
“Bulgaria has come a long way since being admitted to the EU. The convergence engine of cohesion is actively helping the economy to catch up – slowly but steadily – with the rest of the EU, with a combined investment of around €15 billion over the last decade and a half. During this period, GDP per capita in Bulgaria has increased by around 16%, which has increased from 39% of the EU average in 2006 to 55% in 2020. Thanks to your efforts, now in 2022 GDP has increased,” added Ferreira
“We have decided that by 2022 all the projects financed by us must meet the goals set in Paris. The EIB is among the largest investment banks in the world, that is, we have a politically shaped goal and we must respect it when we implement our investments, and they have so far been for more than 1 trillion euros,” said Werner Heuer.
The President of the EIB drew attention to the need to work on investments aimed at reducing dependence on energy supplies.
As a result of the Green Deal, we will have many new jobs, said regional minister Grozdan Karadjov. “In Bulgaria, we have implemented many strategic infrastructure projects that have transformed entire regions. Thrace Economic Zone – 80% of all production is structured around the Thrace Motorway, which, however, deepened the division between South and North Bulgaria, which was left without its own motorway. Cohesion policy is a powerful tool, but we lack a connection with neighboring countries,” explained the minister.
“From the point of view of the electricity system, we are in a good position because we produce energy from our own resources. And it is extremely important in this green transition that we continue to produce energy like this. Thank God the idea, as discussed, to go from coal to natural gas and from there to green energy did not happen. That would make two huge mistakes – we would pay twice for the energy transition. One time from coal to natural gas and then to green energy. The second is that it would put us directly dependent from imported energy sources, regardless of where we get them from. So it is extremely important that this transition to a greener energy system is done more carefully, gradually and preserves the independence of energy sources,” said Asen Vaslev.
“Energy saving is the answer to how we will go through the crisis, energy transformation and diversification more easily. There are two important messages for Bulgaria here – the EIB is developing a new financial instrument through which we can implement and supplement European financing for projects related to energy efficiency. For Bulgaria, the huge potential is the building fund – it should be used in the best possible way as a catalyst for energy savings”, said Liliana Pavlova. She announced that in partnership with the EC and the Bulgarian government, the EIB was chosen to propose a model for a Decarbonization Fund in Bulgaria.