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SEE needs robust infrastructure to integrate renewables effectively

SEE needs robust infrastructure to integrate renewables effectively

Evklips Energy is a privately-owned Bulgarian company, specialised in the construction of different types of solar photovoltaic power plants: ground mounted, rooftops, carports, agri-PV and floating-PV. Active in European markets, such as the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France and Belgium, the company provides turnkey services, covering civil, mechanical and electrical works. Ivan Rashev is Chief Executive Officer of Evklips Energy.

Mr. Rashev, energy storage is definitely one of the hot topics in renewables in the region and throughout Europe. What are your plans on staying abreast of this industry trend?

Energy storage is crucial to Europe's renewable energy landscape because it addresses the intermittent nature of sources, including solar power. Effective storage systems help balance supply and demand, ensuring a reliable and stable energy grid. This is especially important as Europe strives to increase its reliance on renewable energy, making energy storage a key focus for sustainable and resilient power systems. 

Solutions concerning solar energy storage technologies are available and become more widely used. Batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, are commonly employed for storing excess energy generated by solar panels. This stored energy can be used during periods of low sunlight or high energy demand, providing a more consistent and reliable power supply. Advances in battery technology have improved efficiency and reduced costs, making solar energy storage increasingly accessible for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications.

In 2023, Evklips has started training programmes with one one the main storage solutions manufacturers. By Q2 2024, the first fully operational team, specialised in storage installation will be deployed.

Evklips is a Bulgaria-based company but it is active in numerous countries. Tell us about the latest markets in your portfolio and your projects there?

Yes, although our roots, our staff and headquarters are in Bulgaria, we develop our main activities abroad. This is easily understandable as local projects are relatively small in comparison with the dynamic development of the solar industry across the old continent. Netherlands, Poland and Germany remain our main markets since 2017, along with sporadic projects in France, UK, Spain, etc. Last year we set foot in two new countries: Finland and Belgium. Our corporate strategy is very market-oriented: a detailed due-diligence process, involving the status of local regulations, laws and HES requirements precedes our entry into a new market. 

Your experience gives you a broader perspective on the industry. In your opinion, what is the next big challenge for renewables in Southeast Europe?

One of the significant challenges for renewables in Southeast Europe is the need for robust infrastructure development to support the integration of renewable energy sources. This includes enhancing grid connectivity, upgrading transmission systems, and implementing energy storage solutions. Additionally, addressing regulatory frameworks and fostering cross-border collaboration are crucial to facilitate the smooth transition to renewable energy and ensure a sustainable and interconnected energy landscape in the region.

The execution of solar projects in Bulgaria, for example, faces challenges, bureaucratic hurdles, often related to land use conflicts. Obtaining necessary permits and navigating complex administrative procedures can slow down project development. Additionally, grid connection issues in the country, together with the need for infrastructure upgrades, create additional challenges. Balancing environmental concerns and community engagement is also crucial to address potential opposition. Overcoming these obstacles requires a collaborative effort involving government support, streamlined regulations, and effective community outreach.