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Vlăsceanu: Energy transition costs us a lot; we can’t eliminate coal from the energy mix

15 November 2023

The energy transition is expensive and we do not know, in the current and future context, how citizens will react to possible price increases, Silvia Vlăsceanu, the executive director of the Association of Electric Energy Producers – HENRO, said on Tuesday in a specialized conference.

“The electricity market is, indeed, very sensitive to everything that happens around us and we talked earlier about the energy mix. I want to tell you that, worldwide, 35% of the world’s production is from coal. We got below 15% when we went to a mix of about 30%, the share in coal when we had 22,000 megawatts on paper. Now we only have 18,000. In any case, worldwide coal continues to be the first place and day by day China at least is commissioning new coal capacity. It is equally true that it is the first producer of renewables because it has an industry and an economy that is developing at a pace that Europe cannot be proud. After all, the energy transition that Europe wants to impose on the world level and the steps with which the energy transition is made must be rethought, because we will eventually reach bearability. Citizens can bear the pace of this energy transition What is not said and not talked about very much in the press: the energy transition costs a lot. We are not in the situation, especially after the pandemic, after a war that has started, another one about which we do not know how it will influence the whole world, how the citizens will react to possible price increases, and not only of energy. Life in general is becoming more and more expensive,” said Vlăsceanu, according to Agerpres.

In the view of the specialist in the energy market, coal cannot and should not be eliminated from the energy mix.

“I remain of the opinion that coal cannot be eliminated, suddenly, from the energy mix, nor should it be eliminated, because it is a basic capacity of the electric energy sector. They are basic power plants, as I learned them in college. It’s true that 30 years ago we weren’t talking about renewables, and maybe the grids aren’t ready either because they couldn’t keep up with technological evolution. Nuclear remains the best option for clean energy, even if it’s not “green” is the least polluting. We see that many countries are beginning to rethink their decisions, to go back on some decisions to remove nuclear from the energy mix precisely to develop capacities from renewable sources. Without basic capacities you cannot ensure stability and the operation, the safety of electro-energetic systems, even if they are interconnected. A failure in a member state propagates in the network,” explained the head of HENRO.

According to the cited source, hydro energy is an option, as are gas and renewable resources.

“Hydro remains an option, but even here you see that court actions are being prepared to block again the two projects of national interest that have just been adopted, announced by the recently promulgated law. Natural gas remains and here I make a parenthesis: the states- members are not very interested in what is happening or what decisions are being made regarding natural gas at the European level. Take out natural gas, but Romania becomes the only member state producer of natural gas in a few years. Great Britain is not a member state, Norway is not a member state. Romania is becoming the largest producer and obviously they will not make a legislation dedicated to Romania. For this reason, we have to defend our national interest. Natural gas remains an option, especially during the cold season, for the operation power plants in cogeneration. The energy produced by renewable resources, really, not because it’s cheap or free, because it’s sun and wind, can and does influence the price, because for now no other applicable mechanism has been found instead of the marginal price . When we are able to come up with other market solutions to replace the marginal price, then we will be able to say that, indeed, renewable energy is contributing. We also see the influence of these negative prices. The fact that there is a single dynamic price offer, which takes into account the price variations on the spot markets, is something to be praised, but there is still a lot to be convinced or to go before the citizens change their contracts, so that they benefit from these energies with negative prices,” emphasized Silvia Vlăsceanu.

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