The Bulgarian government plans to launch by the end of the year funding programmes worth more than 1.0 billion levs ($637 million/511 million euro) to finance local energy efficiency projects, the economy ministry said.
"The energy intensity of Bulgarian households and businesses is between five and eight times higher than the average rate in the EU. So from now on we need to invest heavily in energy efficiency," a ministry statement quoted energy minister Delyan Dobrev as saying in his address to the Balkan Policies for Green Growth forum.
Some 150 million euro ($188 million) under the EU-funded operational programme Competitiveness and a credit line of between 50 and 150 million euro extended by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - which will secure the bridge financing for the approved projects, will also be available to finance highly efficient projects in the energy sector.
Dobrev also stressed that if Bulgaria does not slow down the pace of development on its renewable energy market, it might reach the EU-prescribed target earlier than the 2020 deadline and this would mean no further investments in the sector would be made by the end of the period.
Bulgaria is targeting a 21% share for renewables in electricity consumption by 2020, according to the country's National Renewable Energy Action Plan submitted to the European Commission.