"Energy efficiency is a priority for our country in the long term in the context of reducing energy consumption and limiting our dependence on imports of energy resources", Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said to the participants in the regular meeting of the Council of the European Union (Transport, Telecommunications, Energy, part "Energy" held in Luxembourg).
The Forum of energy ministers discussed the legislative proposals for energy efficiency, part of "Clean Energy for all Europeans" Package. According to Minister Petkova, it is essential not only to set achievable target for energy efficiency at EU level, but also to ensure clear and non-discriminatory rules for its distribution.
What the energy savings target by 2030 should be, and whether to be binding for the states were the most intensely discussed issues during the Council meeting. Bulgaria considers acceptable the 27 % target, but in the spirit of compromise could accept the proposed 30 %, which should also remain coherent with the national specificities of each country, represents the position of our country. After hours of debate there was general support for the amendments to Directive (2012/27/EU) by a rate of 30 % savings, yet to be decided whether to be mandatory or not. The agreed common approach of the Member States is the basis for the preparation of negotiations on the matter with the European Parliament.
Under the current rules EU countries must achieve energy savings of 20 % by 2020.
Energy ministers also agreed that the current target of achieving energy efficiency by taxable persons (traders) within 1.5 % annual basis should run until 2030.
Among the discussed topics during the meeting were the forthcoming amendments to Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings, as well. A substantial number of these amendments relate to promoting electromobility as a challenge to improve the standard of living and the modern urban environment.
Within the framework of the meeting the EU energy ministers discussed the state of play of electricity interconnectivity and the treatment of this issue in the legislative package "Clean Energy for all Europeans." Bulgaria is implementing the EU target of achieving 10 % interconnection of electricity networks by 2020 and is working to increase transmission capacity by building additional interconnectors to neighbouring countries.
As part of the priority electricity corridor North-South, the PCI 400 kV power interconnector between substations "Maritsa Iztok" and "Nea Santa" (Greece) is being realized. Its implementation will have a significant impact on the security of supply in the region, the flexibility of the transmission network and the increase of its transmission capacity. Our country proposes within the third list of projects of common interest a new 400 kV interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia to be included. This will contribute to increasing cross-border capacity, facilitating the exchange of energy in the Western Balkans region and improving the functioning of the electricity markets in the two countries.
The Commission Vice-President, Mr Šefčovič, also participated in the meeting.