The war in Ukraine, the Kremlin’s threats to cut off gas supplies to Europe and the high price of gas have prompted Romania secure resources for this winter and look for alternatives.
The war in Ukraine has brought to the attention a very delicate problem for both Romania and most European countries – that of energy independence. Although Romania is the EU’s second largest natural gas producer, after the Netherlands, the country continues to depend on gas imports. Romania produces at present around 25 million cubic metres of gas every day, which is enough to cover consumption during summer, but not enough for the winter season. Its gas storage at 90%, authorities have given assurances that Romania can get through winter without importing gas, in case of a mild winter. However, things are different when it comes to electricity.
Situations when energy production exceeded consumption have been very few lately and Romania has, according to the authorities, production capacities to cover consumption twice. According to the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), Romania has an installed energy capacity of almost 19,000 MWh. The hydro power covers most of production, followed by coal and wind energy. Romania will succeed, by 2027, to become energy independent and even turn into a regional security pillar in the field, including for the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, says the ANRE chief, Dumitru Chirita: „The situation in the electric power sector will stabilise, in the sense that we will manage to have the production capacities to cover the demand on the electricity market, but also to offer more support to the Republic of Moldova, so as the situation should not be the one of today. Moreover, we must consider a new energy strategy and see how we handle the integration of the problems in Ukraine into the Romanian energy strategy, because we will too have to be a supplier of energy security to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia.”
Worth mentioning is the project initiated by Romania with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Hungary, which deliver natural gas through the Black Sea. Romanian Energy Minister, Virgil Popescu, has recently said that through this project, Romania will become an important pole in terms of electricity and natural gas. At the UN conference on climate change, Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca said Romania is making important steps towards energy independence, via clean technology, in the context of submitting two letters of intent for loans from US Exim Bank, to build reactors 3 and 4 of the nuclear power plant in Cernavoda, south-eastern Romania. (EE)