“We must understand that there are two totally different communities in our country. For example, we have totally different cities like Iași, where living conditions are very good, but we also have communities of people, in Iași county, too, where there is no asphalt, no water, no natural gas. So, before we talk about smart city, somehow we have to manage to bring closer those who do not have the same living conditions,”, said Costel Alexe, elected president of Iași County Council, former minister of Environment, during the conference “Digitalization and Energy Efficiency in Industry – Iasi”, organized by Energynomics.
“The investments we have made, as a ministry, this year, in the environment or energy efficiency, have been important – we have managed for the first time to double the budget of the Environment Fund Administration, so that it invests in many green measures. AFM has received 900 projects submitted for modernizing public street lighting with LED, which means that 900 local governments have submitted projects, out of a total of 3,181 nationwide, i.e. almost a third of ATUs. We want to resume this project in the future to make sure that all street lighting is green. We also plan to expand these lighting systems; in the present, this program only supports replacing the lamps. Next year we hope to have resources to also support extensions of the lighting networks, in those areas where the people have no access to electricity”, Alexe added.
In addition, buildings refurbishment is being considered, as they responsible today for the consumption of 40% of primary energy and 36% of CO2 emissions.
“The energy consumption for buildings in the European Union must be reduced by 80% – this is the target by 2050, in order to meet the Union’s long-term goals of climate neutrality and the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The government, through the Minister of Environment, paid special attention this year to energy efficiency, especially for the building sector, which is the largest consumer of energy It is the first time in Romania when we launch a program of energy efficient for households and, in addition, it is in the final phase of public consultation the program for energy efficiency in the educational institutions. Through these two programs, we invest around 200 million euros, coming to the support of the population and of the educational units, which consume a significant amount of firewood for heating today, in an inefficient manner”, Alexe added.
He also said that Iași wants to switch the CET Holboca 2 unit from coal to gas. “We would like to connect as much gas as possible to our county, which has a very low degree of connection.” Therefore, Transgaz’ investments in networks, especially the one to Ungheni, as well as having access to the POIM 750 million euros, for connection to the national grid, will be able to bring more buildings in the sphere of modern heating. “We have to bring investments to Iasi, regardless of the source of funds,” he added.
Alexe also said that the government plans to increase the Rabla Plus budget for supporting the acquisition of electric cars. In another program, the government has allocated 480 million lei for local authorities to purchase electric transport vehicles for public transportation.