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Electricity in Bulgaria in 2023

Global Ranking: #24
66.3% #48 Low-carbon electricity
61.44 % #13 Electrification
662.96 watts #55 Generation / person
285.53 gCO2eq/kWh #63 Carbon Intensity

In 2023, Bulgaria has achieved a significant share of low-carbon electricity generation, with more than two-thirds (66.32%) of its electricity coming from clean sources. Nuclear power makes up the largest portion of this at approximately 40%, showcasing the country's strong reliance on this efficient and low-emission technology. Solar energy contributes almost 9%, while hydropower provides nearly 8%, and wind energy accounts for close to 4%. On the other hand, fossil fuels still play a considerable role in Bulgaria's electricity mix, making up a little more than a third (33.68%), with coal being the predominant fossil fuel at nearly 29%, followed by natural gas at just under 4%. To further reduce its carbon footprint, Bulgaria will need to continue transitioning away from these fossil fuels toward even greater use of low-carbon options.

Suggestions

To boost its low-carbon electricity generation, Bulgaria should consider expanding its existing nuclear infrastructure as it has already demonstrated effectiveness in providing a large share of the nation's clean energy. Additionally, the country can look at the successful examples of other nations. France, for instance, generates about 65% of its electricity from nuclear energy, while Slovakia achieves around 62%. For wind energy, Denmark stands out with 53% of its electricity coming from wind, followed by Uruguay at 35% and Ireland at 32%. By learning from these countries and possibly integrating similar policies and technologies, Bulgaria can enhance its renewable and nuclear energy capacity, ultimately reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting a sustainable energy future.

History

Historically, Bulgaria has seen a varied pace in the growth of its low-carbon electricity generation. In the early 1980s, nuclear power saw significant growth, with a notable increase of 2.8 TWh in 1981 and an additional 2 TWh in 1983. The late 1980s and early 1990s witnessed some inconsistencies, with increases in 1988 followed by declines in 1989, 1991, and 1992. Despite these fluctuations, the 1990s saw a resurgence, particularly in 1993 and 1995. The early 2000s continued this trend, with substantial growth in 2000, albeit with a significant drop in 2003 and again in 2007. In recent years, hydropower has also shown a notable yet irregular pattern; for instance, a rise in 2010 followed by a decline in 2011, and subsequent variations in later years. Observing these historical trends offers valuable insights into the strategic planning needed for the continuation and expansion of Bulgaria's low-carbon electricity generation.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Maximum Imports

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2000 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2001 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2002 to 2007 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2008 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2009 to 2017 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2018 to 2019 the data sources are IEA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2020 to 2023 the data source is Ember.
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