The Delgaz Grid company, part of the E.ON group in Romania, plans to attract, in the coming years, 700 million euros from European funds, to which will be added approximately 1.5 bln. euros from its own sources, for financing an extensive investment program in the modernization, expansion, automation and digitalization of electricity and natural gas networks.
For this year, the company has budgeted a record investment plan, of over 185 million euros (920 million lei), from its own sources and from European funds, 36% higher than last year. These investments are the largest in the last 18 years, since entering the Romanian market, raising the total value of network investments to around 1.6 billion euros.
At the same time, the company maintained its commitments and carried out investments from its own sources worth around 265 million euros (approx. 1.3 billion lei) in the years 2021-2022, at the cost of significant efforts.
Distribution networks, both natural gas and electricity, need billions of euros of investment by 2030 to bring their performance and suitability to Green Deal and Fit for 55 standards.
Renewable energy sources are essential. They are the cheapest and cleanest form of energy available. But their use depends on a network capable of receiving the energy produced and ensuring the quality parameters required by industry and domestic customers.
Because all these new sources of renewable energy must be connected to the grids, there is a need to strengthen them, given the exponential increase in the number of those interested in becoming prosumers or developing generation capacities. For example, from only 67 prosumers connected to the Delgaz Grid network at the end of 2020, we reached 5,500 in just two years. And estimates show that by the end of this year, we will have at least 10,000 prosumers connected. But without investments in the electricity grid, consumers will not have cheap and quality energy.
Investment priorities are also directed towards the replacement of old networks from the 70s, but also the infrastructure from the 90s, which was built, unfortunately, not always to the best quality. At the same time, Delgaz Grid will have to invest even more in cyber security solutions, in technology, in IT, in hydrogen-based projects, as well as in network expansions and the connection of new consumers.
Therefore, it is very important to understand that distribution networks are the backbone for all these developments and developments. And distribution tariffs are a key element for stimulating investments that, in addition to the direct benefits brought to consumers, have a multiplier effect in the country’s economy.
In this context, the return to normality and the correct and timely application of the legislation in force that sets the tariffs for the activity of natural gas and electricity distribution is vital.