The World Bank will provide analytical and advisory support to the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy to make the most of the country’s geothermal natural assets. An agreement in this regard was signed by Lasse Melgaard, World Bank Resident Representative for Bulgaria, Czechia, and Slovakia and Rosen Hristov, Minister of Energy of Bulgaria.
Over the next 24 months, the World Bank will provide knowledge and ideas about best practices for the management of geothermal energy resources in the country. The World Bank team will provide analysis, technical input and recommendations for the establishment and operation of geothermal laboratories and geothermal centres of excellence, including in academia. As part of the partnership, the World Bank will support the Ministry in the identification of sites with good prospects for the utilisation of geothermal energy, including heating and cooling and potential electricity generation. As part of the overall assessment of existing geothermal resources in the country, the World Bank will also advise on good practices for carrying out environmental and social assessments.
Various studies show that Bulgaria is rich in geothermal sites with at least 840 water sources that have temperatures of up to 103 Celsius. In addition, there are 136 mineral springs with temperatures ranging between 20C and 101.4 C with various water flow characteristics. However, more data is needed to assess the country’s geothermal potential.
“Clean energy is vital to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the negative environmental effects that come with fossil fuels, and it is critical to help the world combat climate change,” said Lasse Melgaard. “As a renewable resource, geothermal energy can play an important role in both ensuring clean energy for Europe and helping Bulgaria’s efforts to ensure energy security for the benefit of its citizens. We are delighted our ongoing partnership will support Bulgaria to sustainably utilise its natural resources for a cleaner energy future.”
According to Minister Hristov, the agreement is a clear sign of Bulgaria’s vision for the development of geothermal energy.
“The exploitation of geothermal energy will ensure the creation of new jobs and ensure a smooth transition to green energy,” he added. “In just 8 months, we proved that our country can be a desirable and reliable partner in energy, by improving cooperation with institutions such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.”
During the meeting, the parties also discussed the possibilities for cooperation in other fields of energy, including the creation of a comprehensive energy strategy for the country that will support the green economic development of coal regions.