The 5th stakeholders meeting under DeCarb project “Supporting the clean energy transition of coal-intensive EU regions” was held on 02/07/2020 in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Lead partner of the project is Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency (SZREDA). Main goal of the project is experience and good practice exchange and transfer on how to facilitate and ease the process of transition in the era of the high-intensive carbon economy to the future of clean energy. This must guarantee sustainable development of the region, economic and social stability and significant role in the energy mix 2030.

In the work process on DeCarb project SZREDA established a close cooperation with the Black Sea Energy Research Center (BSERC), whose activities are aimed at encouraging the communication between Black Sea countries and the European Union as regard of energy, with special emphasis on research. BSERC is a partner in TRACER project, which aims to support the European regions with intensive coal mining in developing (or modernization) of their Strategies for scientific research and innovation, which will facilitate the transition process towards sustainable energy system. The project is funded by Horizon 2020.  

More information available here.

As a result of the joint work of both organizations and the similar scope of intervention of the two projects, SZREDA and BSERC organized a joint stakeholders meeting, in order to present the potential and prospects that the two projects could offer, to discuss on presented good practices and using them for a base, to identify the next steps aimed at sustainable development for the region with a horizon of 15 years.

The joint stakeholders meeting showed a constructive dialogue between the participants, including: representatives from Maritsa Iztok Mining, TPP AES Galabovo, TPP ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3, Institute of Energy Management, representatives from local authorities, scientists, employer's club representatives, trade unions. Mr. Julian Popov, European climate foundation, was also participating online from London.

The Bulgarian cluster for biotechnology a was also presented at the meeting, promoting the biotechnology sector as a excellent opportunity for the region for creating jobs and a positive GDP developing a production with high added value. This potential development was debated at a preliminary working meeting with the management of the Thracian University, Stara Zagora whose multidisciplinary profile is unique for Bulgaria and includes the main scientific directions of the science for health and life.

The team of Nucleon Consulting Ltd. and the Institute of Engineering Chemistry of BAS presented a technology for electricity generation with lignite from Maritsa basin, with significantly reduced CO2 emissions and production of raw materials for various industries.