Romania should soon come up with a plan to completely abandon the use of coal to produce energy, as this resource has no future, Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission.
“I have to be brutally honest: coal has no future. Why is the European coal industry in trouble? For purely economic reasons, because there is no more demand for coal. It is sinking. Grants of billions and billions have been given that could have been better used to create a future for the people working in the mining industry today. If we add to this the carbon footprint of coal, we must be honest to say that there is no future for coal,” he said, according to Agerpres.
But there is a future for the people who now work in this industry, he continued.
“We need to be clear about this and mobilize the fair transition mechanism to make sure that the mining regions redefine themselves, that there will be new possibilities there,” Timmermans said.
“I hope that Romania will soon come up with a plan to give up coal altogether and how to do it, and I assure you that we, at the European Commission, will be on Romania’s side so that this can happen,” he said.
According to him, in some Member States, including Romania, to move from the current situation, when coal and wood predominate as energy production resources, to a situation based on renewable sources, natural gas is needed as a transitional resource.
“But it’s just a transition, not a final situation. So how can you make the gas infrastructure suitable for the next period as well? By focusing on other sources, such as hydrogen, that can use existing and modified gas infrastructure. Hydrogen is the energy of the future, also for Romania,” Timmermans said.
He recommended that Romania use the Recovery Fund to invest heavily in renewable energy.
“However, Romania has a very large capacity for onshore wind energy and a large offshore wind potential, as well as solar energy. I think it is very important to invest in these directions. And for the gas to be transitional, not a permanent situation,” said the Vice President of the European Commission.