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Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EEA Grants

Bulgaria (BG04)

Key Facts

  • Reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants
  • Increased share of renewable energy in energy use
Programme operator:
Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism
Donor programme partner:
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE),
Programme number:
Date of approval:
20 December 2012
In implementation
Total grants amount:
€ 13,260,245.00
From EEA Grants:
€ 13,260,245.00
From Norway Grants:
The projects may be implemented until 2016/2017

Calls for proposals

There are no further calls for proposals.

More information

Programme website Overview of projects Programme Agreement EEA Grants Bulgaria country page

Programme Agreements, including annexes, are published on the website as signed. Any subsequent amendments are not reflected.


Programme Summary


Why is the programme needed?
Despite improvements in recent years, Bulgaria remains the most energy-intensive economy in the European Union (90% higher than the EU average). Some 70% of its energy demand is covered by import of gas, crude oil and nuclear energy from Russia via Ukraine, making it vulnerable to political instabilities in those countries. Renewable energy sources (RES) from hydropower are responsible for only 9.3% of the country’s total energy consumption, with almost 40% generated by oil products. The government has thus developed a RES policy with a target of a 16% RES share of total energy consumption in 2020. At the same time, the government stimulates a more efficient use of the existing energy through initiating and supporting energy efficiency measures.

What will the programme achieve?
The programme will in the long-term contribute to reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution. It will allow to fulfil the outcomes of increased energy production from renewable energy sources like hydropower and biomass, and improved energy efficiency in public buildings. Additionally, the programme will increase the knowledge and awareness of RES and energy efficiency measures with various stakeholders at various levels. The programme will contribute to the reduction/avoidance of CO2  emissions in the magnitude of 35,000 tonnes. A pre-defined projectwhich is Phase II of a project started in the previous Grants period with the same project partners, will contribute to the liberalisation of the Bulgarian power market, integration of RES in the market, and integration with neighbour and regional markets, based on the Nordic model. 

How will it be achieved?
The programme contains four components directly related to the outcomes defined for the programme:

•    Pilot micro-electricity generation (up to 200KW) in piped water supply and irrigation gravity systems;
•    Energy efficiency measures in public buildings (changing of fuel and boilers, replacement of heating installations and systems) and increased use of renewable energy sources for heat generation (heat pumps, biomass, solar and geothermal energy);
•    Production of fuels for heating based on biomass;
•    Training and education activities aimed at increasing capacity of state and municipal administrations in energy efficiency and RES solutions.

In addition, the programme contains one pre-defined project, Implementation of the Euro Electricity Market, where grounds were prepared in Phase I under the 2004-09 Grants.

How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
The Norwegian Water and Energy Directorate (NVE) is the donor programme partner. The NVE will also be the bilateral partner in the pre-defined project (with different units involved). The DPP and the programme operator have also cooperated in Phase I of the pre-defined project under the previous Grants, a successful cooperation so far. The DPP was fully involved in the preparation of the programme. A special fund is earmarked to give ample opportunities for staff from the programme operator to travel to the donor and neighbouring countries to get to know the energy efficiency and RES activities there. 

What are the partnership opportunities?
The calls for project proposals will encourage partnerships between project promoters and donor entities. The fund for bilateral relations will be open for potential project promoters to travel abroad to seminars, trade fairs, exhibitions, etc. and to potential donor partners to meet and get to know each other, establish networks, etc. The DPP will assist the PO in identifying potential project partners from the donor states.

Who can apply for funding under this programme?
State- and municipal-owned water supply and irrigation entities can apply for support in the first component. In Component 2 the project promoters will be state entities and municipalities. Component 3 will target small and medium-sized enterprises, and Component 4 will have project promoters from universities, training organisations and energy service companies. The grant support in the components varies, ranging from €30,000 (Component 4) to €750,000 (Component 1).