The first CGC workshop was held in the town of Smolyan on 30.01.2015. There were 24 participants representing municipalities and districts within Rhodope region, the Ministry of Energy, the Sustainable Energy Development Agency, energy agencies, utilities, and others. After the presentation of each participant, the RES H/C SPREAD project and the objectives of the meeting were presented. An introductory session on RES H/C topics, including national policy, potential, utilization technologies, and similar projects followed. Finally, the participants discussed potential problems and needs in Rhodope region, expectations for H/C in the region, future developments, data, data sources, and other planning issues.
Some of the main conclusions from the meeting were:
- The plan needs to address the improvement of the current inefficient and polluting biomass utilization in individual (primitive) stoves through introduction of efficient biomass heating (individual, local, district heating) options.
- The biomass and geothermal energy potential needs to be mapped and a cost-benefit analysis of concrete biomass and geothermal energy applications needs to be conducted.
- Planning priorities need to be related to available financing.
- The plan needs to consider the customer opinions and information measures need to be part of the plan.