Europe 2020: Renewable Energy Plans - Target for wind falls short of industry estimates

BULGARIA: Bulgaria's draft National Renewable Energy Action Plan envisages onshore wind farms with a cumulative capacity of just over 1.25GW, producing 2.260TWh of electricity annually by 2020.

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The country's 2020 objectives make wind energy its second-most important renewable source of electricity behind hydroelectric power. Under the plan, wind would represent about 30% of electricity consumption from renewable sources and 6% of all electricity by 2020. That capacity is expected to come exclusively from onshore farms. Bulgaria estimates that electricity from all renewable sources will roughly double over the next decade, accounting for 20.6% of all consumption by 2020.

While the forecast represents a significant increase over 2010 figures - which stipulate wind farms with total capacity of 336MW producing 605GWh of electricity - the Bulgarian action plan would appear to underestimate the country's wind potential.

The Association of Producers of Ecological Energy has in the past estimated that capacity could rise to 3GW by 2020. And in a renewable energy roadmap published earlier this year, it suggests that, with the right policies in place, total capacity could reach 4.84GW, including 900MW offshore, producing roughly 11TWh of electricity per year by 2020.

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