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INTERVIEW - Our next step is to expand our vision in green hydrogen

Author GES
INTERVIEW - Our next step is to expand our vision in green hydrogen Photo: GES

Greentech Engineering Solutions (GES) was created in 2009 and has installed over 860 MWp of solar PV. The company is providing integrated services in the field of renewable energy: building construction, public infrastructure, energy efficiency in buildings, project design & engineering, energy trading and plant management. As an EPC contractor, GES provides solutions at every step of the process: identification of business opportunities; assistance with permit application; design and engineering; procurement of equipment & materials ; construction & demolition; broker services for energy trading; plant maintenance; monitoring & control. GES’ portfolio consists of more than 80 MWp of solar PV (photovoltaic), 5 MW of hydro power and +50,000 sqm of construction. Todor Nikolov is head of GES’ “Energy projects” division.

Following is the full text of an interview with Nikolov, first published in The Renewable Energy Sector in Bulgaria report published by SeeNews and Gugushev & Partners Law Office.

Mr. Nikolov, GES was established at a time when renewables seemed to be all the rage in Bulgaria. However, we have witnessed a waning interest after the initial boom. Where do you think the market will go next? 

Indeed, after a quick uptake in the early 2010s, demand for wind and solar PV reached a plateau in Bulgaria, especially after the country met its renewable energy targets with the EU ahead of schedule for the share of renewable energy in the mix. However, with the now renewed ambition and targets, Bulgaria aims to add 2174 MWp of PV and 249MWp of wind by 2030 and so the future is promising. At the same time, due to the current high energy prices in Bulgaria and Europe, more companies are now looking for opportunities to diversify their sources of electricity by investing in their own electricity-generating capacities. Currently, we have a pipeline of more than 20 MWp of roof-mounted solar PV, and anxious customers eager to start enjoying the benefits. However, it is important to not let this short short-term panic eclipse the long-term trend - using fossil fuels is getting more expensive while renewables like solar PV, solar thermal or wind power are getting cheaper every passing year. 

It certainly looks like the company is working at full steam right now. Does it leave time to think about the strategic goals of GES going into the future? 

Our journey started with the construction of the first utility scale PV plant in Bulgaria -- 4.2 MWp in the Mokresh village. As a pioneer in the renewable energy sector in the country, we have found that using the power of natural resources inspires and drives us in every aspect of our business. Our next step is to expand our vision in an area that is a fundamental part of the energy transition in Bulgaria – green hydrogen. That is why we have decided to become a founding member of an association that exclusively devotes itself into the matter. 

What will be the role of this association in the energy transition? 

The Bulgarian Hydrogen Institute (BHI) was established to push forward the hydrogen economy in Bulgaria. Its goal is to be the compass that guides both companies and public entities into optimising their efforts towards a cleaner and brighter future. As such, the BHI provides technology expertise, knowledge on local practices, legal support, market research, assistance with project development and all needed to make hydrogen technologies a reality. The BHI aims to help Bulgaria turn the page on the current outdated national energy system and embrace the new reality of carbon neutrality and sustainability. The ongoing energy transition is a gargantuan endeavor for all mankind, and modern times call for modern solutions. So far, Bulgaria has mostly ignored this fact, so the BHI actively tackles this by seeking possible partners, offering advice, ensuring connections are made, assisting in project management and guiding applicants seeking public funding. Hydrogen will surely become a major energy vector in Europe and the BHI is ready to take up the challenge.

You can download the report here.