Bulgarian SHAREs Podcast on Citizen Energy and Energy Communities


A Podcast Featuring Mariya Trifonova, PhD, coordinator of SHAREs for Bulgaria

The video podcast by the “Solar Academy Bulgaria” Association dedicated an entire episode to key topics in citizen energy, the role of energy communities, successful project practices in Austria and Germany, and challenges in developing similar initiatives in Bulgaria. The primary speaker for this episode was Mariya Trifonova, PhD, coordinator of SHAREs for Bulgaria:

Over the past two years, I have been part of the SHAREs project, funded by the European Union, with BSERC as the project partner for Bulgaria. The project's main goal is to introduce the energy community model in partner countries and support various collective citizen action models for improved energy efficiency. Several weeks ago, as part of this project, we, along with representatives of three Bulgarian municipalities, visited existing energy communities and large renewable energy centres in Austria and Germany. This tour allowed the representatives to actively participate, gain valuable experience, observe on site the exchange of electrical energy among citizens, and grasp the investment parameters of these models. I firmly believe that municipalities are the driving force behind realizing the energy community model in Bulgaria, as exemplified by the pilot initiative for a renewable energy community by the Municipality of Gabrovo.”

Drawing on concrete facts and examples from the SHAREs study tour, Mariya Trifonova highlighted significant benefits of active citizen participation in the energy transition, including revitalizing the local economy by sustaining the competitiveness of energy-intensive production through wind and solar projects, transforming small settlements into appealing locations for young families, and promoting local company participation in innovative technological solutions for renewable energy installations.

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In addition, she offered valuable insights into recent amendments in the national regulatory framework. She does not shy away from discussing potential challenges that may confront the implementation of the energy community model in Bulgaria such as the lack of legal practice, administrative burdens, a singular focus on one energy source, and a shortage of technical experts.

The entire episode of the “Solar Academy Bulgaria” Association's video podcast with M. Trifonova is available here: https://solaracademy.bg/ep-16-grazhdanska-energiya-i-energiini-obshtnosti/