Corina Popescu, Electrica SA: The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has set our work on new principles

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2020 was going to be a year of preparations and challenges raised by the new rules and procedures introduced by the European directives; by the end of 2020 we had to set new targets for the next period, in line with the European Green Deal. “As if all these were not enough, this economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic also came. I would not say that the new situation completely upset our activity, what it had done was to set us on different principles”, declared Corina Popescu, general manager of Electrica SA, at the Spring Cocktail 2020 online video conference organized by Energynomics.

“More than ever we are focused on protecting our employees as best as possible, and in two weeks we have already taken measures to implement remote working where possible, to provide additional protection elements, such as disinfectant for electricians and engineers when in the field, etc.”

Electrica intends to go on with all the approved maintenance and investment plans. “It is true that we have reprioritized those investment works that do not involve direct contact with the final consumers. The digitalization part, already part of the Electrica strategy approved last fall, got an extra priority. I trust that if everyone keeps the necessary balance in ensuring the protection of customers in need and at the same time in encouraging those who can pay their bill to pay it, I believe that the energy sector will pass this moment”.

However, Corina Popescu considers that the other objectives of the industry can also be met: preparation of market liberalization, introduction of the 15 minutes market, from the hourly market at present, modification of the framework for operating the balancing market. “We have already managed to connect to the intraday market which comes with extra liquidity,” said Corina Popescu.

Despite the present situation, with the reduction of consumption and lower confidence in long-term projects, “I think that, in the next 2-3 years, Romania needs major investments in both the electricity and natural gas sectors, for production but also in the development of interconnection capacities. If we manage to achieve these two major goals, we will surely be able to ensure Romania’s energy security for the next decade”, said the general director of Electrica SA.

“I therefore see the prerequisites for the year 2020 to be a successful year, in which the Romanian energy system will prove that it can overcome the most difficult periods”, concluded Corina Popescu.

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