According to its NECP, Bulgaria intends to enable the integration of hydrogen in its energy and mobility systems. It expects by 2030 an annual final hydrogen consumption of 32GWh in the transport sector, which will be facilitated by the planned deployment of hydrogen refuelling stations. The hydrogen will be produced with electrolysers using renewable electricity. According to Bulgaria’s NECP, the role of hydrogen in its energy and transport systems is expected to slowly uptake by 2030. Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy launched the process to prepare a new Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2021-2027, with the aim to further explore the deployment of electrochemical sources such as hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Bulgaria has an enabling environment to address the deployment of renewable hydrogen mainly in the transport sector, given at least one important pilot project announced, its commitment to deploy hydrogen refuelling stations, its involvement in the Green Hydrogen @ Blue Danube1 and the H2Go2 IPCEI potential projects. Bulgaria was also involved in the HyLaw3 project, that identified and assessed major regulatory barriers, in view of prioritizing measures to address them.
HYDROGEN IN THE NECP OF BULGARIA
Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy launched the process to prepare a new Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2021-2027. The previous Innovation Strategy for smart specialisation 2014-2020 did focus on the development of clean technologies, among which hydrogen-based applications. With this new Strategy, Bulgaria will further explore the deployment of electrochemical sources such as hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. A number of national energy and climate research programmes (e.g. “Low carbon energy for transport and households — EPU” and “Protection of the environment and reducing the risk of adverse events and natural disasters”) have already addressed the storage and conversion of renewable electricity and the deployment of hydrogen technologies. Bulgaria intends to diversify its sources of renewable energy for transport, with the deployment of electrical vehicles and the introduction of advanced biofuels and hydrogen. The NECP comprises the 2030 concrete target of a renewable electricity-based hydrogen consumption of 32GWh in the transport sector. The switch to alternative fuel vehicles will lead to significant infrastructure changes. To ensure the access to alternative fuels for a large public, Bulgaria plans to adapt its existing infrastructure and deploy hydrogen refuelling stations. Bulgaria will take concrete actions to stimulate the production of hydrogen with renewable-based electricity (through power-to-X). Bulgaria’s ‘excess’ supply of electricity generated from solar and wind power would be used for the production of hydrogen. Bulgaria expects around 47 GWh of renewable electricity to be dedicated to produce renewable hydrogen by 2030. To reach its renewable hydrogen target, Bulgaria expects total investments of around 3,45 million EUR. A pilot project for hydrogen production with a total installed capacity of 20 MW is planned. On the basis of this project, the further development of hydrogen capacities beyond 2030 will be analysed.