EPG, together with two representatives from the Ministry of Energy, represent Romania in a multinational project (SEERmap) which aims to analyse alternative pathways by which the countries of South-East Europe (SEE) can achieve decarbonisation of their power sectors by 2050.

The project kicked off in Belgrade on 22-23 September, 2015, reuniting participants from 9 countries – Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo. Each country has 4 participants: two from a national think-tank with expertise in the energy sector and two representatives of the Ministry of Energy.

An important part of the project is the electricity market modeling exercise, carried out in collaboration by the REKK Foundation in Hungary (project and modeling coordinator), the Technical University in Vienna (renewable energy modeling), OG Research (macroeconomic modeling), EKC (power network modeling) and Agora Energiewende (renewable energy policies and financing).

Two alternative scenarios will be developed, starting from a Reference Scenario, i.e. the updated PRIMES Reference Scenario published by the European Commission in July 2016. The first alterntive scenario (full decarbonisation scenario) assumes that all nine countries embark on a gradual transition to decarbonisation already by 2020, aiming to reduce their power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 93% by 2050. The second alternative scenario (delayed decarbonisation) assumes that some countries delay their engagement for decarbonisation (until, e.g. 2030) but then embark on a rapid transition that achieves the same level of decarbonisation in 2050.

The kick-off meeting focused on defining the project steps and scenario build-up, mapping gaps in the necessary data input to the scenario, as well as key policy questions regarding the development of the electricity sector in each country. EPG was represented by affiliated experts Dragoș Tâlvescu and Andrei Covatariu, who contributed with a short presentation on the status and key factors influencing the development of demand and supply in the electricity sector in Romania (EPG_Romania_SEERmap intro presentation_D Talvescu).

 An equally important part of the project is the capacity building exercise. Two workshops, scheduled for early 2017, will address key aspects of regional electricity network integration and renewable energy development, respectively. The collaboration aspect is not negligible either, since a key condition for achieving decarbonistion is the participation of the Energy Community member countries in the European common energy market.

Following the kick-off meeting, EPG affiliated expert Dragoș Tâlvescu declared:

„The expected project outcome is to illustrate that the longer action on decarbonisation is delayed, the higher the cost of transition to reach the climate targets. The reference scenario, in which targets are not reached, is not an option anymore. The Paris Climate Agreement was recently ratified by the European Parliament and has now reached the necessary threshold to enter into force, on November 4th, 2016. The climate targets must be reached and it is important to do it in a timely and cost effective manner. For Romania, as EU member state that participates equitably to meeting the GHG reduction targets, it is essential that non-member countries in the region also take part in this effort. Electricity market integration is a positive development, but it is only feasible on a level playing field, in which the Energy Community member states also take part in the ETS scheme and commit to building their RES capacity. The scenario building exercise will hopefully show how this can be achieved and EPG looks forward to contributing to this discussion.

 

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