Energy literacy of adults and how it is managed in Bulgaria 

Energy is a necessary good in the modern world. Because of its continuous production and usage, it must be carefully managed in terms of both consumption and sources, which can only be done by placing a bet on information. Making the optimum use of energy is only possible if one has a thorough understanding of what energy is, where it comes from, how it is produced, how to use it, and how to conserve it. But information by itself does not guarantee a more mindful use of energy. The ability to convert this knowledge into practical acts is essential.

Energy literacy is a vital concept in our modern world, encompassing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to make informed decisions about energy production, consumption, and conservation. As the global community faces pressing challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, and energy security, fostering energy literacy among individuals and communities is essential for promoting sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

Energy literacy can be defined as the understanding of the nature and role of energy in the universe and in our lives, combined with the ability to apply this understanding to answer questions and solve problems. It involves a multidisciplinary approach, integrating science, technology, economics, and social perspectives.

Bulgaria has a well-developed energy sector with nearly universal access to the electrical grid. According to the International Energy Agency, Bulgaria’s energy system includes a significant share of nuclear power, which accounts for over 30% of its electricity production, with renewable energy sources contributing about 19% of the power supply.

In terms of energy access, Bulgaria performs well, providing comprehensive grid access to its population. This is reflected in its high Energy Access Index, which ensures that most citizens can reliably access electricity. Bulgaria is also focusing on enhancing its grid’s capacity to support renewable energy integration and planning significant investments in this area to support future energy needs.

However, Bulgaria faces challenges with energy poverty. The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index indicates that while Bulgaria has good energy security and access, it struggles with the affordability of energy for its citizens. High energy costs relative to income levels result in a significant portion of the population experiencing energy poverty, where households spend a large share of their income on energy bills, leading to difficult trade-offs between heating and other essential expenditures.

Efforts are being made to address these issues through both national policies and EU-supported initiatives aimed at reducing reliance on fossil fuels and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix. This includes legislative changes to facilitate the establishment of energy communities and cooperatives that allow citizens to produce and sell renewable energy, thereby reducing costs and improving energy security.

Overall, while Bulgaria has robust energy infrastructure and access, it continues to work on making energy more affordable and sustainable for its population.

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