The Bulgarian Parliament has adopted the country's much-anticipated Energy Strategy by 2020, which emphasizes energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
The document was approved with 79 votes in favor and 27 votes against, without any abstentions, with only 106 out of 240 MPs in attendance despite its importance.
The document lists the following priorities: guaranteeing the security of energy supplies, the introduction of new and the development of existing mechanisms for boosting the production and consumption of renewable energy, increased application of cogeneration, measures to enhance energy efficiency and the development of an open and competitive energy market in the country.
Other key goals are the protection of consumers' interests and the fight against climate change at the most reasonable cost.
The document is directed towards ensuring reliable and easily accessible energy supplies at acceptable prices for Bulgarian citizens and the business sector, building consumers' trust in the market , bridging the yawning gap between Bulgaria and the rest of the EU in terms of energy efficiency and redirecting substantial financial resources towards a cleaner environment and a sustainable way of living.
The implementation of the strategy will be overseen through the following mechanisms: 2-year reports for monitoring and analyzing the achievement of the targeted goals and priorities and proposals for amendments to the existing mechanisms and legal framework with a view to updating energy balance forecasts for the next 10 and 20 years.
The strategy reflects the political vision of the government and complies with the current European energy policy framework and with global tendencies in the development of energy technologies.
According to Martin Dimitrov, leader of the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), the energy strategy has its positive sides, like the focus on energy efficiency and energy security, and its worrying aspects, like the Belene NPP project.
"The Bulgarian Parliament and government must concentrate on the first two goals, which are essential to every household and family in Bulgaria", Dimitrov concluded.