Electricity demand in Bulgaria stood at 30.9 terawatts-hour (TWh) in 2020, more than half of which is fulfilled by nuclear power generation. Nuclear power will remain the dominant source for power generation in the country until 2030 accounting for 14.1 TWh, despite the government’s plans to replace it with renewable power capacity, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
“Bulgaria’s electricity market is currently in transition, with the government slowly decreasing its coal power capacity in order to replace it with renewable power capacity,” commented Pavan Vyakaranam, Practice Head at GlobalData. “During this shift, the government plans to rely on nuclear power generation to meet the major electricity demand. Nuclear power generation was 15.9 TWh in 2020, making its share 44 per cent in total power generation in the country and this is expected to remain above 40 per cent until 2030.”
The Bulgarian Government is collaborating with the US and Russia for the development of a new plant to generate nuclear power. As of 2020, the country only has one nuclear power station, Kozloduy nuclear power plant (NPP), which has six units. After the decommissioning of Unit 1 and 2 Kozloduy NPP in 2002 and unit 3 and 4 in 2006, all nuclear power is generated through unit 5 and unit 6. In January 2021, the Bulgarian cabinet approved plans for the construction of a seventh unit at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant using Russian-supplied equipment purchased for the Belene project. However, the schedule for this project is still uncertain due to financial issues.
“Bulgaria has taken multiple steps toward the development of nuclear power in recent times including joining the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in January 2021,” added Mr Vyakaranam. “Moreover, Kozloduy NPP also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US-based NuScale Power for the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology. It is clear that nuclear power will remain the dominant source of power generation in Bulgaria until 2030, despite the government’s plans to shift toward renewable power.”