The energy ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania signed a tripartite Declaration of Intent to develop a series of initiatives to become the backbone of renewable energy in the region. This took place at a meeting in Athens on 19 January 2024. The three countries are committed to cooperating in the preparation of joint cross-border projects in the field of offshore wind energy, hydrogen from renewable energy sources and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The document envisages Bulgaria, Greece and Romania supporting and promoting a joint initiative to explore and develop the sustainable use of offshore wind potential in the Black and the Aegean Seas. The three countries will jointly apply for cross-border RES status under the current Connecting Europe Facility call. Cooperation on a joint project on the call for cross-border renewable energy initiatives is considered as well.
The development, together with Romania, of initial studies in the Black Sea water area to determine specific parameters for the development of offshore energy zones is one of the leading priorities in the program of the Bulgarian Government in this area. The inclusion of Greece in the initiative and the extension to the Aegean Sea area will allow to map the offshore wind potential in South-Eastern Europe and lay the basis for the development of a harmonized regulatory framework.
The declaration, signed by the energy ministers of the three countries, outlines the creation of a regional cluster for hydrogen from renewable energy sources with the participation of governments, transmission system operators and the industry. Cross-border status under the current Connecting Europe Facility call, as well as the possibility of a joint project between the three countries will be pursued. The regional cluster will develop cross-border projects to stimulate renewable energy, including wind and solar, its integration into a low-emission and renewable hydrogen production system for the energy, industrial and transport sectors, as well as the development of dedicated hydrogen infrastructure.
Another important point in the declaration includes the development of cross-border infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.
The declaration intends the parties to expand cooperation in other areas by mutual agreement, as well as to strengthen dialogue and cooperation among them. The development of projects of regional and community interest is aimed at achieving a just transition to a decarbonized and climate-neutral economy.