Bulgaria Solar Energy Summit as a door opener to the Bulgarian market

On 27th and 28th October, 2011, the Bulgaria Solar Energy Summit took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference papers covered mostly the current situation on the Bulgarian PV market and its outlooks, however, the attention of about one hundred delegates was drawn to the technical topics, too: construction and operation of the PV plants, and importance of PV monitoring systems.

Part of the national energy strategy by 2012, as Mr. Petko Kovachev from The Green Policy Institute stated, is to increase the autonomy of the country’s energy policy, as 75 % of the primary energy sources are acquired abroad, 95 % of this share coming from Russia. The intention of the government is to create a transparent environment both for private investments and those coming from abroad to support financing of green projects. Another aim is to cover 16 % of the energy consumption (or 21 – 22 % of the production) by renewables, inclusive photovoltaics. The technically available potential for solar energy is 4.5 TWh per year also because of the solar radiation energy which reaches up to 1500 kWh/m2/a.

There may arise a problem after June 2012, which is the date until today’s FITs are guaranteed for the newly connected PV plants. For the investors it makes sense to get involved in middle-ranged projects (about up to 5 to 10 MWp) to be sure that developers catch the train and connect the plants to the grid in time. There is a colourful range of components and services on the market as companies roamed the Bulgarian market expecting a „gold rush“ after experience from the Czech Republic. The investors must then be careful in selecting their suppliers not to endanger successfull completion of their projects. As the investors react in months, similar situation to that in the Czech Republic by the end of 2010 can be expected in Bulgaria by June 2012. Moreover, „there is too much projects in the development stage“, says Alexander Arcache (Kronos Solar).

„We find the Bulgarian market in spite of all the risks as promising, and we believe that we can take advantage of our experience of the last two years in the Czech Republic“, says Radim Barša, general manager of the Renewables division of Domat Control System, which was the Gold Sponsor of the conference. „As early as during the event we noticed from the responses to our paper that both investors and developers require PV plant monitoring as one of the guarantees of the succesfull economic model.“