The recommendations of the European Commission for the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIESC) drafted by Romania for 2021-2030, are very sharp. The project submitted by Romania at the end of last year lacks ambition, does not specify the sources of investment and does not explain how the decarbonisation targets for 2030 will be achieved if fossil fuels continue to be used, Greenpeace officials say.
The Commission recommends that the 2030 target for renewable energy be substantially increased to at least 34%, which is Romania’s calculated contribution to reach the EU targets. Romania’s previous target was 27.9%, well below the potential of our country. It also asks Romania to support renewable energy and to put in place measures to simplify the operating environment for prosumers and energy cooperatives by simplifying licensing and approvals procedures.
“Romania mistakenly participates in the definition of a European pro-climate plan for the next decade. The state of the climate crisis in which we are, recognized and even officially declared by some states and personalities of the world, needs strong measures that fundamentally change societies in Europe. Romania tries to negotiate, by playing with the percentages, something that is not negotiable: the future,” says Marian Mandru, campaign coordinator at Greenpeace Romania.
The European Commission notes that there is a “tension” between the EU decarbonisation target and the choice of the Romanian Government to continue to produce coal-based energy after 2030. In view of the impact of the price increase on carbon certificates and the low competitiveness of coal and the impact of pollution on public health, this contradictory aspect needs to be discussed and grounded in the final plan.
Already more than half of EU member states have announced that they will abandon coal-based energy by 2030 at the latest. The latest announcement came from Slovakia, which will close the last thermal plant in 2023.
With regard to nuclear energy, Romania foresees the continued use and expansion of nuclear capacities by 2030 and beyond. In this context, the European Commission calls for a series of elementary information not found in the plan, such as the lifetime of existing and new nuclear reactors, but also the impact of new reactors on the energy mix and on exports.
The conclusion is that the final plan must be more precise and contain concrete/ verifiable information. Thus, the Commission points to the lack of a clear timetable for phasing out existing, very old and polluting capacities, and replacing them with new ones. It is also noted the lack in pointing out of energy subsidies granted by the Romanian Government, “including especially in relation to fossil fuels”, but also a deadline until they are granted, Greenpeace officials say.