The Romanian Energy Question

"The Romanian Energy Question" 2007 seminar brought together Government, private sector and academic experts in an effort to formulate ideas for a national energy strategy. It was a timely debate at a moment when Europe was in search for fresh ideas given the challenges posed by climate change and increased uncertainty in oil supply.   Competitiveness, security and sustainable development were the three main areas of discussion.
Points raised in discussion:
• Energy intensity and energy efficiency are two fundamentals of economic development in Romania; the culture of energy policy is quite weak in Romania; energy intensity in Romania is four times higher than the EU average; in spite of its huge saving potential in the economy - 50% in buildings, 40% in transportation and 25% in industry - energy efficiency is not perceived as a priority; the current price of energy and the low level of penalties do not encourage corrective measures in this respect;
• Unlike most of Europe, where the residential sector consumes most of the energy production, in Romania industry is still the main consumer of energy;
• While still incomplete, the liberalization of the energy market is considered a success by local and foreign investors;
• Except for renewables, which rank low in energy production, the energy mix is relatively balanced between coal, hydro, gas and oil and nuclear;
• Romania is set to be affected by climate change; by end of this century temperatures will increase by 2 degrees in winter and 4 degrees in summer;
• There is no national market for green certificates; however, Romania has an advantage on the European CO2 market given its reduced industry's output during transition from a command to a market economy;
• Romania enjoys a key position in the South East European energy market.

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