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Bulgaria Increased Renewable Energy Production by 67% Last Year

Bulgaria increased output from renewable energy sources by 67 percent last year to 5,509 gigawatt-hours as new hydropower plants, wind and solar parks went into operation.

Renewable sources accounted for 15 percent of total energy output, exceeding the 11 percent target set by the European Union, the Energy and Economy Ministry said today in a report. Bulgaria aims to produce 16 percent of its energy from renewable energy by 2020 under an EU-approved plan.

Large hydropower plants with total installed capacity of 1,919 megawatts accounted for the bulk of output. Newer small hydropower generators, with capacity of less than 5 megawatts each, had combined capacity of 241 megawatts in 2010, a 13 percent increase from 2009, the ministry said. Total wind capacity rose 38 percent to 465 megawatts, while solar parks’ total capacity was 21.4 megawatts, according to the ministry.

International companies operating wind and solar parks in Bulgaria include Mitsubishi Corp., Enel SpA, and South Korea’s SDN Co. A joint venture led by Italy’s Petrovilla Group SpA built nine hydropower plants along the Iskar River in northern Bulgaria, with a combined capacity of 25 megawatts, and plans to build another five along the Maritsa River in southern Bulgaria, with combined capacity of about 29 megawatts.

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