Timmermans encourages Bulgaria to restart nuclear power plant project – EURACTIV.com

During a visit to Sofia on Friday (October 15), Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans advised Bulgaria to phase out coal and said the EU would help if it restarted a previous nuclear power plant project. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.

Timmermans, who is in charge of the EU-Green Deal, is visiting Bulgaria to meet with Executive Prime Minister Stefan Yanev when the country presented its plan to recover from the coronavirus to the EU executive.

Sofia must negotiate a deadline for decommissioning polluting coal-fired power plants in order to secure its share of the funds. Bulgaria is heavily dependent on coal to meet its energy needs, and it is not one of the EU members that have committed to phasing out coal-fired power by 2030. In fact, the plan is to stop coal entirely by 2040.

Bulgaria’s economic stimulus plan aims to phase out coal in 2040: PM

Bulgaria will try to negotiate a target date for phasing out coal for power generation in 2040 when it presents its plan to recover from the coronavirus to the European Commission, said interim prime minister Stefan Yanev on Thursday (October 14).

“Coal has no future,” Timmermans told the broadcaster bTV. The Dutch commissioner said he was the grandson of two miners and that he had taken the problems to heart.

Before attending a conference, Timmermans was greeted by demonstrators waving banners “Green Deal = Bloody Deal”.

Timmermans did not indicate whether the 2040 deadline for the closure of coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria was acceptable to the Commission, but merely said that the EU executive would first have to consider the Bulgarian recovery plan, which would take some time.

According to the EU Commission, green electricity is the only long-term solution for lower electricity prices. Timmermans also said that natural gas was a good solution and that nuclear energy should play a role in the future.

He said Brussels will help Bulgaria if the country decides to build a second nuclear power plant in Belene. Bulgaria has a plant with two functioning reactors in Kozlodui.

Last January, under former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Bulgaria abandoned the construction of the plant near Belene on the Danube after the project was stopped and resumed twice.

Bulgaria ends Belene nuclear project

Bulgaria has abandoned the construction of its second nuclear power plant near the small town of Belene on the Danube after stopping and resuming the project twice. This third suspension should end the Belene nuclear project forever. …

However, the recent surge in energy prices prompted several EU countries to review their plans to expand nuclear power.

Timmermans said it was up to Bulgaria to “review the numbers” and the pros and cons of Belene, adding “to make a decision that we will assist you with”.

Asked by journalists how much he paid for electricity, Timmermans said he now lives with his wife in Brussels and she pays 220 euros a month, but he expects the amount to increase.

Timmermans also said Russia was honoring its agreements with the EU and that Brussels had no reason to believe that Moscow was manipulating the market.

Regarding Nord Stream 2, he said it was up to the German authorities to certify the pipeline. The Commission then has two months to carry out its assessment.

Germany has four months to certify the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

The German energy regulator announced on Monday (September 13) that it has four months to complete certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after receiving all of the necessary documents for an application for an operating license from the pipeline company.

The Vice-President of the Commission said Bulgaria was on the right track with judicial reform and that Brussels would support the process.

Bulgaria will have no government or parliament until the November 14 elections.

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