Commentary

Energy Efficiency Directive Revision Impact on the Romanian Energy Sector

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is an essential instrument for achieving the energy and climate objectives of the European Union (EU). The recast EED aims to align its provisions – since many of them require increased ambition and enhancement of their scope – with the target of 55% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

Fondul pentru Modernizare: O urgență pentru tranziția energetică din România

Fondul pentru Modernizare (FM) este cel mai important instrument financiar european destinat susținerii tranziției energetice în țările Europei Centrale și de Est până în 2030.

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and its implications for Romania

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a heavily debated legislative proposal for a carbon tax on EU imports from five key sectors (aluminium, cement, fertilizer, iron and steel, and electricity). [1],[2] It has been proposed as part of the Fit for 55 package, with the purpose of preventing carbon leakage (the relocation of carbon-intensive production of tradable goods away from the EU, to avoid carbon costs).

The Revision of the Energy Taxation Directive and its Impact on the Romanian Energy Sector

The current version of the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) is deemed outdated and misaligned with the EU agenda of promoting renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction. The European Commission’s ETD proposal is a unique opportunity to address some of the missing pieces of the current framework and sets the ground for encouraging the roll out of new, sustainable technologies and products by: building the tax rates based on the energy content and environmental impact, widening the taxation base, by including energy sectors that are not in the scope of the current ETD (aviation, shipping), developing mechanisms to incentivize new energy carriers and technologies, such as hydrogen and storage.

Renewable energy directive revision impact on the Romanian energy sector

The current Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) is being amended, as part of a broader overhaul of EU climate and energy legislation, to update the target and the legislation for delivering at least a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. The European Commission’s RED revision is the key EU legislative instrument for promoting the uptake of renewable energy sources and lays the foundation for higher RES targets at EU level and in every member state, mainstreaming renewables in buildings, H&C, industry, and transport.

Energy System Integration and the Role of Hydrogen

The sudden interest for hydrogen in Romania is lacking though a robust foundation in policy analysis and planning, having been fueled almost entirely by the momentum that the topic has received at EU and international levels.

The utilizes` payment postponement for three months may be a good idea but with high failure chances

Although sanctioned in the press as a populist and anti-economic measure, the draft law on deferral of payment to utilities for three months, is based on a correct idea of social protection.

The day the oil markets crashed – again. Is this time different?

The global oil industry will continue to be battered by the constraints of climate policies, divestment and lowering returns. True, a depressed oil price environment disincentivizes investment in renewable energy sources, electromobility and, alas, energy efficiency – a lesson well learned in the aftermath of the 2014 oil industry downturn.

Oil markets in 2020: fundamental drivers and geopolitical uncertainties

The fundamental market drivers are pointing at a balanced oil market in 2020, with a Brent price mostly within the $60-70 a barrel – unless, that is, a massive escalation of the geopolitical tensions occurs, following the targeted killing of Iranian general Soleimani, causing large and indeterminate oil supply disruption.

The Draft of the Romanian National Energy-Climate Plan 2021-2030

The analysis carried out in this report shows that the manner in which the NECP draft accommodates the net increases in electricity generation capacity by 2030 for virtually all forms of primary energy – except for the natural gas units, whose aggregate capacity stagnates, and of coal, for which an implausibly low decrease is expected – is to rely on a massive increase in final energy consumption to 341 TWh in 2030 compared to 269 TWh in the PRIMES 2016 projection, and 300 TWh in the Romanian Energy Strategy 2019-2030, with an Outlook to 2050

Energy Efficiency Drivers: Five Lessons for Romania from the IEA 2017 Energy Efficiency Report

How could Romania capitalize on such consistent evidence about how energy efficiency can actually work to the benefit of a state and its energy stakeholders?

The little smart-meter that could

In Romania, the National Energy Regulation Agency (ANRE) has so far approved 36 SM pilot projects in 2015 and 2016 for all eight distribution areas, targeting approximately 270.000 points of delivery out of a total of 7.18 million, which means less than 4% of the population.

History of unitization-based cooperation in the development of offshore cross-border deposits. Part I

This paper traces the history of how states came to cooperate in the development of offshore cross-border oil or gas deposits. First, it explains the shift in how a state´s offshore has come to be viewed from “open to all” to sovereign rights over an exclusive economic zone and finally to cooperation in the interest of all parties concerned. Secondly, it discusses the types of agreements states signed and the problems these agreements solve.

Renewable energy and the conundrum of the Romanian irrigation system

Some say statistics lie and this is sometimes true. However, oftentimes statistical figures are so striking that underlying facts become obvious. At the European level, the irrigation systems differ a lot by technology, but also in terms of irrigable and irrigated areas. According to 2013 data provided by Eurostat, there are important discrepancies between member states.

Natural Gas in the Romanian Energy Mix: Strategic Importance and Circumstantial Barriers

Natural gas is the most important form of energy in Romania’s the final consumption structure. In 2015, gas accounted for 29% of the total demand, followed by oil products with 26%, 19% renewable energy sources (RES (including hydro), 17% coal and 9% nuclear energy. Gas consumption is almost equally divided between the domestic and industrial sectors – in the latter gas is used primarily in the production of electricity and as raw material in petro chemistry.

World oil market in 2017: Contango or backwardation?

Important market players already bet that days with oversupply of crude oil will soon to be outdated and that the market will return to balance – and therefore back in the situation backwards.

Turkmenistan’s gas hurdles: No end in sight

Plummeting oil prices and fallen revenues triggered a chain reaction in Turkmenistan, which has a current account deficit of about $6 bn. Ashgabat devalued the currency by 19%. There have been reports of massive food shortages and unpaid wages.

An analysis of the evolution of electricity prices in January 2017

Given that Romania is quickly moving towards the completion of a centralized natural gas trading market – including through the elimination, from April 2017, of the predetermined price for the internal production of natural gas – it is necessary to make use of the current mechanisms and specific regulations, and to introduce new ones, to limit the effects of possible massive price volatility caused by speculative behavior

Reflections on the New Romanian Energy Strategy

The Energy Ministry posted on December 19 the Energy Strategy of Romania 2016-2030, with an Outlook to 2050. It has been a long-awaited document, on which stakeholders have for years pinned hopes about favored energy policies and from which decision-makers, public and private, expect guidance in the coming years.

Romania holds first capacity auction for Isaccea – Negru Vodă pipeline

Romania’s capacity auction is a significant step in regional gas market opening. At the end of July 2016, Transgaz has signed gasinterconnection agreements with its Bulgarian and Ukrainian counterparts in order to increase interconnectivity and allow bidirectional flow from Ukraine to Greece.

Analysis on the constitutionality of the introduction of a tax on additional profit on the holders of oil agreements

The introduction of the additional tax must be fair, proportionate, reasonable, fair, and the level of taxation must be determined according to objective, rational financial criteria corresponding to the taxpayer contribution (according to the Romanian Counstitutional Court practice)

Natural monopolies:the case of Romania’s distribution network

In Romania, a number of industrial sectors that serve the public interest are strictly regulated – natural gas, railroad or electricity systems, to name a few. As such, for the local energy sector, and particularly for electricity, the transmission and distribution services are regulated as “natural monopolies”

The competitiveness of the refining industry in Romania and the EU

During the evolution of the Romanian oil industry, the refining sector emerged at the end of the 19th century by way of a massive import of foreign capital and advanced technology. In 1895 the construction of Steaua Română refinery started in Câmpina, one of the largest in Europe of that time, with capital of Deutsche Bank.

How are we to pay the energy bills?

The creation of a regional balancing market calls into question the commercial viability of the classical electricity generation capacities which ensure, at the national level, this service.

“Fit for fifty” and perhaps for more…? tax regime for petroluem activities

Nobody can deny the sovereign right of states to charge taxes on any activity including petroleum activities. It is of utmost importance when, why and namely how such fiscal measures are established.

The Idiot’s Guide to Running a Country’s Coal Industry … into the Ground

Our case study of worst practices involves two-state owned businesses, Hunedoara Energy Complex and Oltenia Energy Complex. They are both nearly insolvent, while the Government continues to pump money into their rescue, without, however, any real assurance that the effort will be worth it

The Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant: one step closer to energy storage of the future

Photovoltaic is a unique concept, if looked at how fast this technology has been growing. In the next decade, global demand could be significantly fueled by solar power. Today, just 0.5% of the electricity comes from photovoltaics worldwide. It may seem like a small number, but in 1998 this was 0.003% and if the trend continues, in 2028 it will grow to 50%. Therefore, by then half of the energy demand could come from solar-powered plants.

Biogas: A high-potential, sustainable, yet untapped fuel in Romania

For Romania to increase its biogas production 50-fold, a step change is necessary, even if the level of support is sufficient to make most investments profitable.

Hurdles in the Path of Romanian Gas Market Liberalization

The 2018 calendar was supposed to bring a 3% increase in household gas prices as of 1 October 2014, as a first step towards timely liberalization. In light of the burden that would have thus fallen on households ahead of presidential elections held in December, the Government, through its Department of Energy, requested this delay.

The fairytale that wasn’t: the Iasi-Ungheni gas interconnector

The Iaşi-Ungheni interconnector is a 43 km long pipeline meant to transport up to 1.5 bcm of gas per year from Romania to the Republic of Moldova, under the Prut River that constitutes the border between the two countries. Construction works only took one year, but they followed three years of talks between the two parties. Costs reached a total of €26.4m, most of which was covered by Brussels and Bucharest.

Small-scale LNG – an opportunity for Romanian transportation

Compared to oil products, natural gas is clean burning, with virtually no particle and sulphur emissions, close to no NOx emissions, and lower CO2 emissions. Increasingly, it is also more affordable, despite higher logistics costs. Romania should follow the lead of many other countries around the world, and consider incentives for ship and truck owners to switch to natural gas.

Romania’s energy policies, between liberalisation and environmental protection

Industrial competitiveness gains more and more traction across EU`s energy policy.

Energy independence vs energy security

For the energy public debate in Romania, there are often two seemingly interchangeable terms – security and energy independence. The two concepts are different, however, and understanding the differences is very important

Romania’s energy security options: 2014 and natural gas market projects

Romania's most important foreign energy policy project, the Nabucco gas pipeline, failed definitively in June 2013, when the competition for the transport of Azerbaijani gas to the EU in favour of the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) project.
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