TotalEnergies is a multi-energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and electricity. The company is committed to better energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. In Bulgaria, TotalEnergies is active through its retail activities. It is also actively looking at natural gas exploration opportunities in the country and also aims to establish itself as a key player in the local renewable energy market. Miroslav Ilijevski is the company’s Country Chair in Bulgaria.
Mr. Ilijevski, TotalEnergies has operations in a number of countries but sees Bulgaria as a market of strategic importance when it comes to renewables. What are your plans for the business here?
Indeed, Bulgaria represents one of the priority markets when it comes to development of TotalEnergies’ renewable business activity. In the coming years, the strategy of the company in the country is to stay focused on specific projects, such as large-scale solar farms, offshore or onshore wind, or batteries.
We are looking into the development, co-development or acquisition of renewable projects, ideally starting from the greenfield stage. Once this first step is achieved, the company may go beyond its initial ambition but, for now, let’s go one step at a time.
Are there any active projects on Bulgarian territory already?
When it comes to direct presence, TotalEnergies is actively prospecting new greenfield projects in the country. It is well known that finding a renewable project in Bulgaria is not difficult. The difficulty lies in finding a good one, for all stakeholders. At the present moment, the company is analysing the possibility of entering into one of the few projects we have been working on in the past few months.
On the other hand, TotalEnergies already has an indirect presence in the country through its interest in Total Eren and its subsidiary Novenergia. Since 2012, Novenergia operates two PV plants in the country – a 10,3 MWp plant in Dabovo and 4,1 MWp in Vinogradets.
One of your long-term strategic goals is to become carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the EU's ambitions. What steps is TotalEnergies currently making in that regard?
To achieve this ambitious goal, TotalEnergies must act on two fronts: avoid and reduce our emissions while offering a less carbon-intensive energy mix. The company is integrating this shift towards less carbon-intensive energy into our strategy, among other things by dedicating an important part of our investments to solar and wind power, with the aim of joining the world's top five producers of renewables by 2030. Moreover, it is also promoting natural gas, hydrogen, and biogas to decarbonise transport, with significant investments in biofuels as well.
On the other hand, in a volatile hydrocarbon market, TotalEnergies’ strategy is to invest selectively and at competitive production costs with one goal: to prioritise the quality of our investments over the quantity of projects.
Sustainable transformation also means involving our customers in our ambition to become carbon-neutral in order to collectively reduce our emissions. In other words, it is a matter of offering them products and energy solutions that are less carbon-intensive to help them reduce their own carbon footprint.
Finally, the company is aware that only focusing on decarbonising the energy mix will not be enough to achieve our targets. That is why TotalEnergies also invests in capturing residual carbon through carbon sinks, whether they are “natural”, or via carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities.
As a conclusion, in our vision, TotalEnergies in 2050 is a company for which renewable electricity accounts for half of its production, new carbon-free molecules from biomass (biofuels and biogas) or renewable electricity (hydrogen and e-fuels) represent a quarter, and hydrocarbons (oil and gas) the remaining quarter, with residual emissions fully captured, recycled, or offset.