Experts advocate for an integrated approach to energy efficiency actions (Cluj-Napoca, May 18)

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Alongside the individual efforts from companies and beneficiaries of products and engineering solutions, a strengthening of energy efficiency at national level can only come from an integrated approach imposed by legislation, standards and regulations. This is the point where all the speeches met at the conference “Actions for Sustainable Energy Consumption”, organized by energynomics.ro on Thursday, May 18th, the second of the information campaign “Energy efficiency for big results”. More than 60 experts from Cluj-Napoca and neighboring localities participated in the debates that were stimulated by eight leading speakers, representatives of ENGIE Romania, EnergoBit, Servelect, Phoenix Contact, Autotransilvania, Enero, EximBank.

Extensive range of solutions and services from ENGIE Romania

Gabriel Florea, Director of Business and Corporate Clients Sales Division ENGIE Romania presented in short the group’s intentions globally on three directions of development:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions in electricity production
  • Development and management of the global infrastructures and networks (gas and electricity)
  • Solutions and services for residential clients, professional associations, companies, municipalities and other territorial units

As part of the ENGIE group, one of the world’s leading energy companies, ENGIE Romania is an important local player with about 1,6 million customers and a turnover of nearly one billion euros. ENGIE Romania is the first natural gas importer in Romania and the first natural gas supplier on the regulated market, and Distrigaz Sud Retele is number one in the natural gas distribution in Romania. ENGIE Servicii is a market leader on the technical services segment with 650.000 customers.

MicroCHP at Dragului Hotel in Predeal

A product dedicated to the high energy consumption buildings (hotels, guesthouses, hospitals) and heat is the cogeneration micro-power plant for which ENGIE Romania can provide the initial investment through a F-BOOT (Finance-Built-Own-Operate-Transfer) type of agreement.

Given that half of the electricity invoice is represented by system tariffs (transport and distribution), this microCHP eliminates these costs. An additional element that contributes to cost reduction is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat even at the customer’s location, which gives him the opportunity to produce his own energy. “We responded to the customer’s request, which wanted to be more efficient and cost-effective”, explained Gabriel Florea. “After 9 years of operation, the equipment becomes for free the property of the customer, and the benefits already confirmed by the presented project are a lower fuel consumption, a lower environmental impact, and significant energy cost savings”.

Development, financing and operation for the compressed natural gas filling stations

Within six weeks at most, ENGIE Romania will inaugurate in Bucharest its first public filling station for fuelling vehicles with compressed natural gas (GNC), confirmed Gabriel Florea. The company wishes to remain a player within the sustainable urban mobility and it will engage in the efforts for pollution reduction, by supporting the development of the GNC infrastructure. “Gas is a greener alternative to classic fuels, it is nontoxic, less corrosive and has a low degree of flammability. By compression, the volume of gas is reduced to 1% of the initial volume and this allows its use on all classes of motor vehicles”, explained the representative of ENGIE Romania. “We intend that after the launch of our first public station to gradually switch a part of our own vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas”, announced Florea.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF GABRIEL FLOREA

The ENGIE Romania representative also referred to the extensive consulting and services package for optimizing energy consumption, and also the SMCE application – which allows the customer to monitor and analyze energy consumption by energy types (natural gas or electricity) so that it would be able to intervene for consumption management and budget optimization. “We have implemented this solution to one of the largest manufacturers of building materials in Romania and it works very well,” Florea said. Monitoring allows the beneficiary’s energy manager to track the consumption patterne in real time so that any major variations or unusual behaviors can by quickly addressed.

Energy efficiency all along the value chain

An emphasis on quality is what produces long-term results, said Carmen Neagu, CEO EnergoBit, in the opening of her presentation. “It worked and it still works for our company, but it is also the way for every company, be it small or large”. Mrs. Neagu insisted upon the need for quality solutions to become both the priority choice of companies, but also the direction imposed through secondary legislation, regulations and standards. “Without the European Union Directive no one would have changed the transformation stations in the distribution area of electricity”, reminded Carmen Neagu..

grafic energobit

Carmen Neagu then presented several solutions for increased energy efficiency all along the entire value chain, from generating energy, to the industrial and residential consumer, and to transportation. There is a difference of 80% between what the available energy resource and what reaches the consumer, said the general manager of EnergoBit, while the existing technology allows for a reduction by a quarter of these huge losses. “An example is how we power the oil platforms: instead of on-site gas generators, a submarine cable connection to the national energy system can be used, which would massivly streamline the energy consumption”, said Carmen Neagu. There are many combustion optimization solutions in the coal area that are not yet used in Romania, as well as means for using photovoltaic energy “by covering the slag and ash deposits with solar panels”.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF CARMEN NEAGU

In the energy transport and distribution area, the average loss at European lovel is around 9%, while in Romania this is much higher. “The current solutions for long-distance electricity transport can reduce losses to 2% and they can be installed both submarine and underground. These would solve many of the problems we have in Romania, from theft, to deforestation,” but it is mandatory that the regulations and standards accelerate the use of these new solutions”, insisted Carmen Neagu. “Also, through standards you have the possibility to develop the local producers, because they can base their investments on standards. EnergoBit is the only Romanian manufacturer of distribution transformers with low and ultra-low losses – EcoDesign. Our engineers and experts have understood the necessity and the opportunity for these products, but it was all possible thanks to standards that imposed certain behaviors and goals, “said Carmen Neagu.

Energy efficiency is a national priority

Victor Grigorescu, energy policy expert and former Energy Minister, argued that the state should take on its role as a catalyst for private initiatives in the field of energy efficiency.

SECURITY Romania has one of the highest energy intensities, and its reduction, through energy efficiency, can be considered as a priority at national level. “A way to reduce the impact of any kind of incidents of supply – a cyber attack or geopolitical crisis, for example, is to increase energy efficiency,” said Victor Grigorescu. This way of thinking is valid at national level, but it can also be applied at the level of a city, a county or an individual consumer. The more efficient we use energy, the more the security risk decreases, Grigorescu synthesized.

POVERTY Romania has a big problem with energy poverty, because of the large number of people who find difficult to pay their energy bills. There are still many other people at risk of poverty and also the fact that many of these vulnerable people are concentrated in restricted geographical areas. “Today’s solution is to allocate some direct aids to those in need, but a better solution seems to be to increase energy efficiency in these areas,” Grigorescu said. “The state could invest the same money to increase the energy efficiency of buildings in order to reduce actual consumption, getting the people the same comfort for a smaller bill.” These kind of financing would also have a positive impact on the economy, by increasing the energy services market and creating new jobs.

OPPORTUNITY Energy efficiency is an opportunity for sustainable economic growth through the development of an innovative energy service sector that will replace the current system, which is now in full restructuring and which has been restraining for years. “It is very good that we have a government program to support Romanian companies. We should perhaps add as one of the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries the extent to which the companies we support have a favorable input on energy efficiency”, Grigorescu said.

Integrated approach from Servelect

Andrei Ceclan acts as Senior Energy Advisor within Servelect and he presented solutions offered by the company, covering the entire chain from generation, transport, distribution, network connection and up to the specific energy quality solutions, monitoring systems and energy audits. The case studies he presented have covered efficiency actions at minimum or zero costs (awareness and behavior change), but also some with high impact: process adjustments (for example, temperature control and standby duration of brazing furnaces), or technological update (furnace thermal insulation, variable automation and operation, reactive energy compensation in photovoltaic parks or local cogeneration).

Andrei Ceclan has shown that Servelect is also involved in implementing efficiency solutions for filling stations, as well as in optimizing the consumption of buildings, with respect to ventilation and air conditioning, lighting, where a reduction in consumption of 15 and up to 35% can be achieved, at the same or increased comfort.

Another strategic direction of Servelect is provisioning of Urban Energy Management Service for cities in Romania, the most representative case is Cluj-Napoca.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF ANDREI CECLAN

Through CREESC (Resource Center for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change), Servelect is also involved in the energy management of Cluj-Napoca. “Companies, governments and public institutions have a cumulative share of 28% in the total electricity consumption of the city,” said Andrei Ceclan. He listed the main identified action areas for which support is provided for increased energy efficiency: district heating (grids insulation, distributed micro-cogeneration), transport (electric buses, injection of photovoltaic energy in the traction network, energy recovery after braking, compensation of the capacitive intake) and public buildings, among which schools are a major focus.

Servelect presents itself as an engineering and energy services company that proposes sustainable solutions, with courage in development, to increase the profitability of the beneficiaries by energy efficiency. Andrei Ceclan briefly described Servelect’s way of working: “We start with a free evaluation at the client location, we identify solutions and validate them with the client, we determine what realistic expectations can we have, and set a plan for measuring and verifying the savings. Then, we implement them using resources from our own, the client’s or from third parties, and monitor on a long-term the achievement of results”.

Electric Mobility Solutions from Phoenix Contact

Cătălin Marius Lepinzean, Business Development Manager at Phoenix Contact, mentioned two of the directions of action that the German group has in Romania. Founded in 1923, PHOENIX CONTACT Gmbh & Ko is a leader in the field of electrical component manufacturing and industrial automation technology, and in 1928 Phoenix Contact invented the terminal block (RWE clamp) for the German electricity company RWE. With 15,000 employees globally, the Phoenix Contact group has an annual turnover of two billion euros. “What Phoenix Contact proposes is this mix – starting from components, through integration of the solutions and implementing some ideas through appropriate technical solutions,” explained Cătălin Marius Lepinzean. Along with its partners, the company has implemented in Romania efficiency solutions in the production infrastructure, such as power conditioning, energy management, lighting control.

An important segment of the company’s activity is also electric mobility, an area which is not so developed in Romania, but which has great potential. “While we do not produce turn-key stations, we support system integrators in Romania to build such stations. We have fruitful collaborations with 4 or 5 companies, that is, we have already built and installed some stations,” Lepinzean said. Such companies, with the support of Phoenix Contact, offer integrated solutions – both the stations themselves and the networks and hardware / software architecture necessary for data transfer and complex network administration.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF CĂTĂLIN MARIUS LEPINZEAN

At present, the main beneficiaries are small or larger companies who want to install electric charghing stations in their car parks or other spaces they own: supermarkets, hotels, office buildings. Cătălin Marius Lepinzean also mentioned some plans for creating national networks of electric car charging stations.

BMW – a responsible approach to sustainable development

Cristian Popescu, BMW car sales consultant for Autotransilvania, presented the electric cars of the Group – i3 and i8, and how they are produced as part of an integrated approach to environmental responsibility and commitment to reduce electricity consumption.

BMW’s electric cars were designed to be used in crowded cities; they are small and easy to park, come with low energy consumption, with some of the smallest noxious emissions and noise pollution.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF CRISTIANA POPESCU

According to the Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Importers (APIA), the number of electric and hybrid cars sold in Romania, in 2016, reached 1,183 units, compared to 496 units, in 2015. Electric car sales (BEV, EREV, PHEV) tripled to 167 units (237%) compared to the 46 units in 2015. BMW, with 65 units, dominates the local sales of 100% electric cars.

ENERO – free support program for young SMEs

In the opening of the second session – Business Breakfast START2ACT, Nicoleta Ion presented the opportunities that SMEs and Start-ups in Romania have through the START2ACT, a project funded under the European Union’s research program Horizon 2020.

“A key area of intervention for increased energy efficiency through behavioral changes is represented by office equipment, which has the largest increase in energy consumption in the business area,” Nicoleta Ion explained. Office equipment consumes 15% of the total electricity used in offices, and the trend is that this share will increase to 30% by 2020. Even though SMEs are not yet subject to a legal obligation to conduct an energy audit once in 4 years, achieving energy savings through cost-effective or costless measures (behavioral changes) should be aknowledged as an asset for SME owners and managers.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF NICOLETA ION

ENERO is a consulting center based in Bucharest that can offer free assistance through a so-called “mentoring program”. The first visit is devoted to an assessment of energy consumption and translates into implementing fast, cost-free measures, Nicoleta Ion explained. The next two visits have the objective of identifying opportunities to reduce consumption through low-cost measures, and more costly measures, respectively.

Nicoleta Ion gave some examples of actions taken following these visits:

  • assessment of the consumers and of the energy consumption
  • consumption analysis based on invoices
  • evaluation of the thermal insulation by thermal imaging
  • recording consumption over a period of time

All start-ups younger than 5 years are eligible in this free program and they are encouraged to contact ENERO at start2act@enero.ro or nicoleta.ion@enero.ro.

Marius Lazar, EximBank: We appreciate efficiency, too

“We, as a bank, are looking at efficiency, more precisely at the efficiency of capital use,” said Marius Lazăr, EximBank Regional Director, highlighting the bank’s identity of perspective with the players in the energy market. “Energy efficiency is a how companies retain their long-term competitiveness, and energy efficiency investments bring immediate return of investment. We may also add that Romania has a large pool of skills (people and companies) in the energy field, which is insufficiently used if we focus strictly national; we believe that there is an important potential to bring these skills to export. All these are arguments for a financier such as EximBank to be attentive and to support developments in the energy efficiency sector”, said Marius Lazar.

“We can contribute to increasing the Romanian energy business for abroad, in safe financial terms, by collecting receivables, by prefinancing the production for export, by supporting the collection of financial debts and by covering the risk of non-payment of those financial debts”, explained the EximBank official.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF MARIUS LAZĂR

“We are a Romanian company and we have a greater appetite than other players to look into the future and to invest for the future,” said the EximBank representative.

Over 60 representatives from AMRSP, Ardealul Carei, ATD der PLAN, Atelier RVD, Autotransilvania, bitYes, Cluj Today, CREESC, CTP Cluj Napoca, Datta Business Consulting, Deac Consulting Dynasty, Dedal – Birou arhitectura, Eaton Electric, Electrolux Romania, Energobit, EnergoCertif, Enero, ENGIE, EximBank, Faist Light Metals, FrieslandCampina, Hidroelectrica, I&C Transilvania Constructii, Industria Sarmei, Kronospan, New Kopel – Sixt Romania, NextEnergies Consultants, Philips Lighting Romania, Phoenix Contact, Prima TV, Primaria Cluj-Napoca, Project Consulting, Saint-Gobain Construction Products, SECPRAL PRO, Servelect, SGS, Transilvania Evolution, Trec Cluster, Valeg Creative Solutions, Zoppas Industries Romania attended the presentations and participated in discussions.

The event was organized by energynomics.ro and supported by our partners: Autotransilvania, EnergoBit, ENGIE România, EximBank, Phoenix Contact, Servelect.

The Gold sponsor of the conference was ENGIE Romania, a company that, together with its subsidiaries, serves approximately 1.6 million customers, operates a network of 19,000 kilometers in 19 counties in Southern Romania and Bucharest.

Participation

In April, energynomics.ro launched the communication campaign “Energy efficiency for big results”, within the project Start2Act, funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020, run in Romanian, and aimed at informing and educating the decision makers in the Romanian public authorities and companies – from Start-Ups and SMEs to the largest enterprises.

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Access to the conferences is open to all professionals in the Romanian energy industry and related sectors, interested on energy efficiency subjects matters, based on the invitation from energynomics.ro. You are welcomed to write us at office [at]energynomics.ro and ask for an invitation!

Themes

  • Public Sector – Exemplary role of public bodies’ buildings and purchasing by public bodies
  • Metering and Billing – Operational, as well as potential specific technical topics
  • Financing – The conditions required for the successful establishment of financing facilities
  • Energy Services – Provisions to stimulate the development of the energy services market; energy storage; energy balancing; energy flexibility
  • Consumer Information – Communication is a vital aspect of promoting energy efficiency
  • CHP and Heating / Cooling – Assessment for the potential application of high-efficiency CHP and DH
  • Obligation Schemes, Audits and Monitoring – Options for implementation and issues related to monitoring
  • National Energy Efficiency Action Plans
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