We need investments, and in order to get them, we need a legislative and regulatory framework which is both predictable and stable, says Corina Popescu, CEO Electrica Group. “Investments in the electricity sector are made for long term, and this is the reason why, when the economic operators make such decisions, they try to base them on medium and long term forecasts,” said Corina Popescu, at the 2020 Energy Strategy Summit.
“We are at a turning point: we can accept the Green Deal as an opportunity and start on this path or focus on what we are doing today and deny the evidence that the future is green – and we could start on a different path. I think that in Romania, the players in the field of electricity choose the right path”, said Popescu.
The market needs liquidity, and the consumer needs transparency, in order to make the right choices at the time of liberalization.
“We are facing a challenge. In order to be able to substantiate very well the path we choose, as a country, we should have some programmatic elements that show the direction. The national Energy Strategy is a document that we are missing and I would be very happy for it to emerge. It must show us strategic directions – not projects. It has to show us how Romania plans to go through this transition to Green. Then, it is also about the National Energy Climate Plan (NECP), a plan that sets targets for both renewables and energy efficiency, showing which sectors need investment in the next decade.
Without a strategy and a concrete plan, it will be difficult for us, as a country, to attract the funds made available through the EC mechanisms.
“Back to investments in the distribution sector, I think Electrica is the largest investor in the energy field. We have invested over 2 billion lei recently in the development of distribution grids. These are investments that are beginning to show their effectiveness. We are also trying to take the direction of other Member States, to digitize ourselves, to become smarter, as a distribution operator. The segment where investment are not present is the generation segment”.
Phasing-out coal will help revive the Romanian energy sector, but the affected region needs alternatives, especially for the people there, who are not prone to leave Romania.
“The electricity sector can offer some opportunities. We are talking about investments in renewables, in solar panel factories, which can be an alternative for the region. We are talking about e-mobility – electric charging stations, which can also be an opportunity. It is important that we manage to define these projects in a general framework, that we manage to convince the European Commission that we have a clear direction and that we manage to also implement those projects”.
In addition, Romania needs flexible generation, and the energy system must cope with the integration of new renewable energy sources, such as wind.