Addressing an international forum on “The Green Deal – Innovations, Investments and a Just Transition” in Sofia Friday, President Rumen Radev called for preserving the autonomy of the Bulgarian energy system and preparing a national energy strategy.
“We should make the most of our natural resources such as mountain rivers, geothermal energy, sun and wind, as well as our achievements in technologies, especially in nuclear energy, and use the huge capacity and projects of our scientists and research organizations,” Radev said.
He reminded the audience that the national energy strategy expired in 2020 and the country now needs a new one with a horizon until 2030 or 2050.
Radev sees many risks and challenges in the green transition, but said there are many opportunities as well. He said that Bulgaria has a longer way to go as regards the energy mix, the social package, the overall economic transformation because the Bulgarian economy is much more resource-intensive than the EU average. Paradoxically, in the conditions of an unprecedented energy crisis, the Bulgarian energy system turned out to be one of the most autonomous and sustainable because its energy mix has 50% of energy from coal-fired plants. “Now we are faced with the challenge of replacing this mix with something else,” the President noted.
The President further said that the Green Deal has no alternative, it absolutely has to happen. It is also an opportunity for a profound modernization of society. “It is therefore important to ensure the sustainability of this process by being aware of what the risks are and what tools and approaches we can use to minimize them,” he said.
The risks he sees include going too fast in the process or having excessive ambitions. He mentioned the transport chapter of the Fit for 55 package as an example of how ambitions can exceed capabilities and can lead to various adverse effects on the sustainability of the process. Other risks he sees are possible loss of competitiveness of the national economies and adverse social effects.