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

According to the new policy framework on the Governance of the Energy Union, the National Energy-Climate Plans (NECP) constitute obligations of the EU Member States to develop one-decade-long energy-climate policies starting with 2021-2030. The Romanian Government published the NECP draft at the end of November 2018.

Spread on 169 pages, this first NECP draft 2021-2030 provides a comprehensive summary on the Romanian energy system, including the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

At the same time, the draft sets the national targets for 2030 regarding the reduction of GHG emissions, the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in the final energy consumption, and the increase of energy efficiency.

However, the NECP draft also has a number of important deficiencies. From the beginning, the document surprises with a proposed RES target of only 27.9% for 2030, far below the national potential of cost-efficient development of RES and also well below the collective EU target of 32%.

The NECP draft anticipates 86.6 TWh of final electricity consumption in 2030, well above the 51 TWh of the PRIMES 2016 projection. As argued in this report, simply by considering a more realistic electricity consumption, in the range of 60-70 TWh, the RES target in 2030 is achieved without additional policies for RES support. At the same time, the report also looks at the realistic prospects of the coal-fired power generation sector.

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.

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