The Parliamentary Committees on Energy and European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds met with Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.
The European Commissioner thanked Bulgaria for what it had done during its presidency of the Council of the EU. He mentioned the significance of the Western Balkans for achieving a better connectivity and diversification of energy supplies. In his words, Bulgaria will guarantee its energy security and that of the region, if it turns from a transit country into a trading one. He also thanked for what had been done on the inter-connectors Bulgaria-Greece and Bulgaria-Romania. Maroš Šefčovič said that Bulgaria did very well in the area of RES and energy efficiency. With regard to the energy from renewable energy sources, your country has exceeded its targets and can share experience, he said.
Energy Committee Chair Delyan Dobrev said that legislative changes were in the making to take a new decisive step towards liberalisation of the electricity market. It is planned to introduce contracts for difference, whereby RES producers and producers of highly efficient electricity cogeneration will sell electricity on the free market and get the difference to the preferential prices from an Energy Efficiency fund. Once the changes are adopted, the regulated market will drop to 35 per cent, said Delyan Dobrev. As regards the Western Balkans, he emphasised that they were a priority for Bulgaria and its presidency and that the efforts were focused on improving transport and energy connectivity.
Among the topics discussed were the construction of the “Balkan” gas hub, drilling in the Black Sea, nuclear energy, and coal-fired power plants. The underground gas storage Chiren was mentioned as a project of common interest, which could turn into an important component of the overall system.