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1st national energy conference “Smart grids in Bulgaria – good practices and perspectives”

STRIDE – Improved energy planning through the Integration of Smart Grid concepts in the Danube Region

1st national energy conference “Smart grids in Bulgaria – good practices and perspectives”

On the 18th of November, the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum (BEMF) organised the first National Energy Conference on topic “Smart Grids in Bulgaria – Good practices and perspectives”.

Representatives from the following organisations participated: the Association of Bulgarian towns and regions, local policymakers, Sofia Plan, Association of Energy Communities in Bulgaria, the Smart Grid Think Tank organisation, Bulgarian Branch Chamber Smart Grids, Industrial cluster Smart Grids, Bulgarian Association of Utility Clusters, Association Green Buildings, CEZ electro Bulgaria, the Electricity System Operator (ESO), Energy Agency Plovdiv, Edimit Ltd., Schneider Electric, and other stakeholders. Some of the participants were connected online.

The event was held on the 18th of November 2021 at the Sofia Tech Park as a hybrid event (both in person and online).

The event was devoted to informing local policymakers about the STRIDE project. The STRIDE project objectives and activities were presented, as well as the project training materials. The municipality representatives were acquainted with basic notions, definitions and perspectives of Smart Grids (SGs). The event combined training of local policy makers for their preparation to include SG concepts in policy documents and the sharing of good practices and SG perspectives by the leading players in the energy sector in the country.

Sofia Plan, a municipal enterprise responsible for the spatial and strategic planning of Sofia Municipality, shared with other municipal colleagues, spatial analyses for the formulation of local policies.

The Bulgarian Association of Utility Clusters presented municipal utility clusters based on SGs, and the road towards energy cooperatives and energy positive zones. To follow, Energy Agency Plovdiv presented a project for energy-positive zones and visions of energy transition and urban development.

Presentation Topics at the Conference

Presentations and discussions were made on the technological and legislative perspectives of the SGs in Bulgaria – new horizons for SG technologies, also correlation with the Bulgarian and EU energy legislation, with focus on Directive 2018/2001. Concepts of SGs and challenges in the design and implementation of SGs were presented by the Electricity System Operator (ESO), who also shared policies and SG solutions of the operator. CEZ electro Bulgaria shared their experiences and plans for development of smart network solutions in the distribution network. Additionally, the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange explained how virtual power plants served as an “entrance” of prosumers into energy markets. Schneider Electric Bulgaria presented good practices of SG projects applications, and the Innovation Hub at the Schneider Electric plant in Plovdiv. The Bulgarian Association of Natural Gas presented the applicability of smart solutions in natural gas distribution networks.

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