Brussels will stand behind Bulgaria if it decides to complete the Belene NPP. This is clear from the words of Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans. He assures that nuclear energy will play a role in the future that the EC has nothing against its use, but each country must decide for itself.
“Make a sensible decision, check the numbers – what are the pros and cons. Make a decision that we can support you for,” he said in an interview with bTV.
The vice-president of the European Commission is adamant that “nuclear energy has a future, and coal will soon have no history”.
“What we need to ensure, however, is a better future for people living in areas where there is mining. I am the grandson of two miners and I take the issue personally,” added Timmermans, who is in Sofia to take part in the forum The Green Transition – Solutions and Challenges for Bulgaria.
The vice-president of the European Commission, who is responsible for the Green Deal, is convinced that green energy will ensure lower electricity prices and that natural gas is a good solution.
The pact requires a shift from coal to other fuels or other energy models. This puts our country in front of the prospect of closing “Mini Maritsa East”, which is why miners from the largest enterprise for coal mining and coal production and a major source of prosperity in the Stara Zagora region blocked the center of Sofia a few days ago.
The indicative date for the cessation of coal use in Bulgaria is 2038. The Cabinet has not yet abandoned the option of negotiating with the EC for 2040.
Timmermans avoided the question of a possible closure in 2040, saying he could not say if the date was appropriate before he saw our recovery and sustainability plan. However, he warns: “The longer we wait, the more expensive it will cost us.”
He does not expect a problem for Bulgaria due to the delayed submission of the plan, which will be considered in the next few months in Brussels.
He explained that the situation with high electricity prices is related to the COVID pandemic. “Because of COVID, it is reducing the supply of gas, people have compensated by buying larger quantities. This is the ‘perfect storm,’ but we hope it is only a temporary situation and prices will go down early next year,” he said. the President of the EC.
When asked how much his family personally pays for electricity, he replied: 220 euros, but with the increase I know that it will not be enough.