Romania aims for energy independence in response to Ukraine war

(EurActiv, 13 Jun 2022) The Romanian government wants to transform the country’s energy infrastructure and energy mix to attain energy independence, but experts warn there are still issues while environmental groups call for a bigger role for renewables.

Last year, 45% of Romania’s primary energy consumption was provided by imports, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics. The country relies on Russian imports for 29% of its gas consumption and a quarter of its imported fuel, according to the Intelligent Energy Association in Romania.

Transgaz, the Romanian natural gas transmission system operator, said that annual consumption varies between 11-12 billion cubic meters (bcm) and could increase by another eight billion annually.

However, the Energy Ministry said Romania is one of the least dependent states on Russian gas as neither the Romanian state nor the companies have contracts with Gazprom. Still, there are intermediaries of the Russian company that sell gas in Romania. 

“The vulnerability of a country is not only given by how much it imports in a year but by how much it matters in an hour/day of maximum consumption, what are the hourly resources stored that you can rely on if you do not have gas from import, which are the immediate energy alternatives that a consumer can use in the event of a lack of gas and especially if the import is the source on which you are going to lose your balance,” said Dumitru Chisăliță, president of the Intelligent Energy Association (IEA).

The situation could change later this year when the extraction of the 200 billion cubic meters of Black Sea gas reserve will start, as a law passed last month gives the government a pre-emption right to purchase.

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EurActiv, 13 Jun 2022: Romania aims for energy independence in response to Ukraine war