INTERVIEW - Fluence sees big potential for energy storage in Bulgaria
Gridstack energy storage system by Fluence. Image by Fluence (www.fluenceenergy.com)
SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 8 (SeeNews) - Nasdaq-listed Fluence sees high potential for the development of the energy storage market in Bulgaria in the context of the significant renewables potential in the country and the political support for the rollout of green energy, a senior company executive said.
Bulgaria is one of the key markets that Fluence, the global energy storage company with already strong presence in Europe, is working to expand into, Julian Jansen, Growth & Market Development Director EMEA at Fluence told Renewables Now on the sidelines of the RE-Source Southeast 2022 conference in Sofia last week.
The country's green energy sector has drawn serious investor interest. State-owned Electricity System Operator (ESO) has received applications for connecting more than 20 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid as of the end of May, chief executive Angelin Tsachev said at the conference. About 18.6 GW of the requests are for the high-voltage grid and 1.8 GW for the medium-voltage grid.
The connection of such renewables capacity to the power system creates challenges for the operator because this requires more transmission lines and substations to be built and this is where battery-based energy storage can help integrate the green power into the system, Jansen explained.
The surge in interest in Bulgaria's green energy sector is driven by the decision of the country's government to utilise the Recovery and Resilience Plan for the expansion of renewables. Under the plan, Bulgaria will seek to add 3.5 GW of new solar and wind capacity by mid-2026. At least 1.4 GW of the total will be combined with energy storage and allocated in five tenders, starting in the last quarter of 2022.
The solar-plus-storage tenders encourage investment in energy storage and this is a really good solution to already mitigate the problems that may arise with higher renewables penetration from the start, Jansen said, adding that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is a very positive signal by the Bulgarian government to provide investment security and drive initial investment because it will reduce the initial CAPEX.
"We see in Bulgaria a lot of ambition by the private sector investors, whether it's big corporate, industrial or large power producers, for renewables to be deployed. It is an interesting market with significant growth potential, and Fluence sees it as an important future market for us to be and engage.”
Fluence is already working to develop partnerships in Bulgaria and find the right partners with local expertise to advance the energy storage market.
Created in 2018 by Siemens AG and AES Corp, Fluence is active in 30 markets around the globe and has installed more than 4,800 MW of energy storage capacity. Besides energy storage systems, the company provides related services and digital applications such as the Fluence IQ Platform, which delivers AI-enabled digital applications for managing and optimising renewables and storage from any provider.
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