Energy storage. Market perspectives for Bulgaria

The Association for Production, Storage, and Trading of Electricity (APSTE) has published a report on the technological development and market perspectives for the energy storage systems in Bulgaria.

The report “Energy Storage. Market perspectives” was officially presented at a workshop part of RE-Source Southeast conference which took place on September 14, 2021 and was specifically dedicated to strategies for corporate procurement of renewable energy.

Equipping the economy for a low-carbon future requires an informed debate and bold decisions by politicians, businesses, and citizens alike. This report aims to raise awareness of the state-of-the-art energy storage technologies that exist today and fill an important gap in the debate for the climate neutral transformation of the energy sector in Bulgaria – forward-looking solutions for energy storage and how these can drive the country’s decarbonisation while creating businesses and jobs for the economy.

Rising costs for fossil fuels and CO2 emissions are already pushing electricity prices in Bulgaria to record high levels. In response, businesses are turning to renewable energy to lower their electricity bills.

While renewable energy power sources like wind and solar power have gradually gained popularity and economic sense in Bulgaria, their characteristic feature – variable output depending on the momentarily available resource (wind or sunshine) and the resulting challenges to grid management have received disproportionate attention into the public debate, sometimes blatantly used as an excuse for the remarkably unambitious decarbonization targets Bulgaria has set for itself so far.

“It is a fact that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow when we need the energy. It is also a fact that a number of energy storage technologies are already available to help us  tackle this issue too. This report aims to shine a light on the energy storage technologies that exist today and how they can be applied to help the integration of more renewable energy in the power mix while keeping the energy system stable and creating sustainable jobs and income,” commented Mariyana Yaneva, Director Policy and Communications at APSTE.

The report explores how energy storage provides valuable flexibility to the power system, how short-duration storage technologies such as flywheels and batteries can respond to imbalances created by higher shares of renewables within milliseconds, while longer-duration technologies like pumped hydro storage (PHS) or hydrogen can provide weekly, monthly, or even seasonal storage. Energy storage technologies can enable sector coupling too. It can link the electricity sector to the heating and cooling sector, as well as to transport, thus helping to decarbonise otherwise hard-to-abate industry sectors.

Moreover, most energy storage technologies can be deployed rapidly with high public acceptance, and at any scale and level of the electricity system (generation, transmission, distribution, consumption). As such it can provide both local services (i.e. congestion at distribution level) and system services (capacity, frequency regulation, energy cost minimisation) with unlimited aggregation capability.

In a scenario with active policy measures in support of the sector, APSTE has calculated that at least 7 GW of renewable energy power plants can be installed by 2030, backed by 1.7 GW of grid-scale energy storage systems, creating in the process tens of thousands jobs in the clean energy sector.

The full text of the report can be downloaded here. An executive summary is also available here.  

For more information:

Mariyana Yaneva

Director Policy and Communications, APSTE