Electricity distributors want to invest even more, but these investments are recouped through tariffs, “because no one has a money factory at home,” and the freezing of distribution tariffs for a year was not a wise move, as it throws the companies off by a year, declared Volker Raffel, CEO of E.ON Romania, in an interview granted to Agerpres.
He emphasized that it is important to have a stable, predictable and transparent legislative framework and, in case some changes are needed, they must be analyzed before being implemented, based on a serious dialogue.
Regarding the targets proposed by the European Commission on the renewable energy side, Volker specified that, in his opinion, the EU must accept Romania’s starting position in the energy transition, because while the EU is moving towards the “all electric” approach “, in Romania we are moving towards gasification projects of the country and he emphasized that there is no single recipe for all states.
“I strongly believe that the ‘everything electric’ approach can be a solution for countries that do not have their own natural gas reserves. But there are also very big challenges in terms of economic costs and network preparation. In Romania, however, the situation is different, because, in addition to significant reserves of natural gas, there is also a vast infrastructure for their use. So I agree that heat pumps are a good solution in many cases. But this should not be imposed administratively and where there are alternative solutions. However, the risks in this sense are starting to materialize. Recently, a decision was made at European level to ban new gas plants de facto until 2029 at the latest. This means that from 2030 people will no longer be able to replace a faulty or old gas plant with a new one, but must buy a heat pump. Leaving aside the much higher costs, even in more modern buildings the electrical infrastructure is not capable of carrying that much energy needed to run all these pumps,” he said.
“And why force the Romanians, given that their country will be the largest gas producer in the EU, to go through this process? Therefore, I want to emphasize that a single solution does not fit all states. I hope that the representatives of Romania will succeed in convincing the EU to take this into account in order not to turn into the tailor who makes clothes of the same size for all customers, regardless of their sizes.
“We want to contribute to the transition to emission-free energy, including for the heating area, which is currently largely based on natural gas. We believe that we can provide the same comfort to our customers using the current infrastructure, without modifications and with the same safety in operation, practically using a different gas. The use of green gases such as hydrogen produced by electrolysis, biomethane, but also other technologies are part of the solution for the decarbonisation of the sector.”