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Electricity in Bulgaria in 2022

Global Ranking: #20
51.2% #62 Low-carbon electricity
838.53 watts #37 Generation / person
404.00 gCO2eq/kWh #93 Carbon Intensity
Up to 18% Electricity imports

Bulgaria's electricity consumption for 2022 is split almost evenly between low-carbon and fossil-based energy sources. Just over half of the country's electricity (51.25%) comes from low-carbon sources. This includes nuclear, which accounts for nearly a third of the total and is the largest single source of electricity in the country. Hydropower, biofuels and other clean sources like solar and wind power also contribute to this low-carbon vision, though their individual shares are comparatively smaller. Coal is, however, still a significant player, responsible for more than 40% of the nation's power, with the rest coming from gas and oil-based sources. Interestingly, Bulgaria is a net exporter of electricity, pointing to a well-developed electricity generation sector.


Looking at other countries, Bulgaria could significantly increase its low-carbon electrical generation with a combination of an expansion of its nuclear facilities and investments in wind energy. The nuclear prowess of countries like France, Ukraine, and Slovakia, where it accounts for more than half of their total electricity, offers insightful success stories. Besides, the successful integration of wind energy in countries like Denmark and Ireland, where wind power accounts for over 30% of electricity, also presents a feasible blueprint for Bulgaria. In-line with these successful examples, Bulgaria's efforts should focus on embracing nuclear and wind power to increase its clean energy output.


Looking back, Bulgaria's history with low-carbon energy has been a chequered one. The 80s marked the country's initial foray into nuclear power with increments seen till about 1988. However, the last years of the 20th century brought with them a decline in nuclear power, noticeably in 1989, 1991, and 1992. Despite this, the 90s also saw a resurgence with positive growth seen almost annually. Things were turbulent again in the early 2000s, with performance oscillating between growth and decline, notably the significant downturn in 2007. The emphasis shifted somewhat to hydropower in recent years with increases seen in 2010, 2018 and most recently in 2021, despite some years of decrease. Despite some setbacks, the narrative of low-carbon energy in Bulgaria has been one of resilience and consistent growth over time.

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 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2022 the data source is Ember.