Renewables Booming In Romania

Country Overview

The European country of Romania is bordered by Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Moldova, and the Black Sea. The population of Romania is approximately 19.74 million people.

In 2022, Romania’s economy was ranked 44th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of motor vehicle parts, cars, insulated wire, electrical control boards, wheat, sunflower seeds, sheep, and goats.

Environmental Policies

In 2009, Romania as a member of the European Union (EU) committed to the “Renewable Energy Directive,” which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.

In 2016, Romania as a member of the EU signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

In 2022, the Romanian government approved legislation to replace all coal-fired power plants with zero-carbon power plants (renewable and nuclear energy) by 2032.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Romania had access to electricity.  In 2022, utilities used renewable energy (42.2%), nuclear energy (12.0%), coal (18.5%), natural gas (17.7 %), and oil (1.6%) to generate electricity in Romania. Hydropower and wind were the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Romania.

Recent renewable energy projects in Romania include:

  • 1,000 MW Hydropower Pumped Storage Project – Romanian, state-owned energy company Societatea de Administrare Participațiilor în Energie has resumed work on the Tarniţa Lăpuşteşti pumped hydro storage project, approximately 125 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Bucharest. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 700 MW Solar Project – Romanian company, S.C. West Power Investment is continuing work on the Arad solar project at a site approximately 300 miles northwest of Bucharest. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 310 MW Solar Projects – Romanian energy company, Complexul Energetic Oltenia is continuing work on four separate solar projects at coal mining sites across the country. The four projects are forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2025.
  • 250 MW Wind Projects – Swiss renewable energy company, Axpo is continuing work on two onshore wind projects located approximately 60 miles northeast and 125 miles east of Bucharest. The two projects are scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 153 MW Solar Project – In November 2023, Israeli power company, Econergy Renewable Energy commissioned the Ratesti solar project at a site approximately 75 miles northwest of Bucharest.
  • 111 MW Solar Project – Romanian energy company, OMV Petrom is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 125 miles west of Bucharest. The project is forecast to be commissioned by 2024.
  • 102 MW Wind Project – Hungarian company, BIG Energia Holdings is continuing work on the Urleasca wind project, which is located approximately 105 miles northeast of Bucharest. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.

Conclusions

Romania imports fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2021, Romania imported U.S. $2.1 Billion just for refined petroleum.

In 2021, Romania used fossil fuels to generate 37.8% of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Russia provided 37%, 15.5%, and 12% or Romania’s crude oil, natural gas, and coal, respectively to Romania.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

On 2 September 2022, Russian energy company, Gazprom announced an indefinite shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline. The pipeline shutdown stopped all Russian natural gas exports to Romania.

Romania has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including onshore wind, solar, biomass, offshore wind, and hydropower. Romania is now fast-tracking the development of all  renewable energy projects to offset the stoppage of all Russian fossil fuel imports.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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