Ivan Mihaylov: Bulgaria’s Energy Transition Needs Comprehensive, Strategic, and Economically Justified Approach

AmCham Bulgaria’s main focus in the field of Energy is diversification of energy supply. That is because of the diversity of our members, and it is underlined by the energy and economic needs in Bulgaria. At AmCham, we have companies that operate in power generation – conventional and RES, in the nuclear sector, as well as gas suppliers. That was the initial statement of Ivan Mihaylov at the “Coal and the Green Transition: New Reality and Challenges for Bulgaria” Round Table, organized by the Energy Management Institute on January 16, 2023.

Bulgaria needs an energy strategy to have a clearer vision of the development of the sector because such a framework can sustain and attract investors. Here is important to underline the multi-billion investments that were already made by the two private operators in the Maritsa East Power Complex.

When we speak about the just transition of coal regions, it is important to point out the need for quality education. Those people that work in the Energy Complex will need reskilling and training to gain new competencies that are required for the sector in which companies will invest in projects to realize the Green Transition. Among all elements that should be considered, is the economical justification of every project. I do agree that there is a real need for investments in the grid and in the gas distribution network, also said Mihaylov.

We need to have the bigger picture before our eyes when we speak about the role of the different energy sources and the existing energy system that should be transformed. Such a big picture includes Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, the EU, and the world as a whole with all of the processes in them, all of the available and potential technologies, and regulatory requirements. This complex equation includes the workforce, and we should consider that the demographic characteristic of the population in Bulgaria and the real labor force and its productivity are not among our strengths.

I am certain that the successful transition includes all stakeholders, precise planning, political and public will, as well as a strategic glance at the future, concluded Mihaylov.