The European Commission has published its assessment of Member States’ draft plans to implement the EU’s Energy Union objectives, and in particular the agreed EU 2030 energy and climate targets.
The Commission’s assessment found that the national plans already represent significant efforts, but points to several areas where there is room for improvement, notably as concerns targeted and individualised policies to ensure the delivery of the 2030 targets and to stay on the path towards climate neutrality in the longer term, as Member States’ plans are currently falling short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions. Therefore, reaching the EU’s overall climate and energy goals will require a collective step up of ambition.
Romania submitted its draft integrated national energy and climate plan on December 31, 2018, and the Commission has made a comprehensive assessment of the plan and has come up with the following recommendations:
- Significantly raise the level of ambition for 2030 to a renewable share of at least 34 percent as Romania’s contribution to the Union’s 2030 target for renewable energy; Increase the level of ambition in the heating and cooling sector to meet the indicative target included in Article 23 of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 and put in place adequate measures to meet the transport target; Put in place measures to simplify the licensing and permitting procedures and provide additional details on the enabling frameworks for renewable self-consumption and renewable energy communities; Provide additional details on the specific measures to ensure sustainability for biomass supply and use in the energy sector, given the important contribution of biomass to Romania across the energy mix, especially in heating and cooling.
- Substantially increase the ambition for reducing both final and primary energy consumption in 2030 in view of the need to increase the level of efforts to reach the Union’s 2030 energy efficiency target. Propose more ambitious policies and measures that would deliver additional energy savings by 2030. Provide more clarity on existing policies and measures and provide more detailed information on the planned policies and measures for the whole 2021 to 2030 period, in particular on their expected savings and impacts as well as timeline for implementation.
- Specify the measures supporting the energy security objectives on diversification and reduction of energy dependency, in particular measures ensuring flexibility and a robust gas diversification strategy including relevant underlying infrastructure projects and the elimination of the undue restrictions to investments in gas production considering the regional potential of the reserves in the Black Sea. Detail the strategy to ensure the long-term supply of nuclear materials and fuel in view of the enlargement of the nuclear generation capacity and detail information concerning the strategy to maintain its domestic capabilities in the fuel cycle.
- Define forward-looking objectives and targets concerning market integration, in particular measures to develop liquid and competitive wholesale and retail markets, both by fostering competition within the country and by eliminating barriers to cross-border trade, including export restrictions. Address the negative impact of wholesale price regulation and provide a clear outlook to ensure compliance of national legislation with Union law with respect to open and liberalised markets and free price formation by including a strategy and timeline for progress towards fully market based prices, while including targeted measures to protect vulnerable customers.
- Clarify the national objectives and funding targets in research, innovation and competitiveness, specifically related to the Energy Union, to be achieved between 2020 and 2030, so that they are readily measurable and fit for purpose to support the implementation of targets in the other dimensions of the integrated national energy and climate plan. Underpin such objectives with specific and adequate policies and measures, including those to be developed in cooperation with other Member States, such as the Strategic Energy Technology Plan.
- Intensify regional cooperation with neighbouring Member States and within established regional cooperation frameworks such as the Central and South-Eastern Europe Energy Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group including in gas and electricity infrastructure, renewables, energy efficiency and research, innovation and competitiveness, and taking into account common challenges and shared objectives. There is significant potential to further cooperate with a view to foreseen developments in the electricity sector, including the need to accommodate higher shares of renewables and clean transport, which could impact electricity interconnections and trading in the region.
- Extend analysis of investment needs and risks provided for its Energy Strategy objectives, to a general overview of investment needs to reach the objectives of its integrated national energy and climate plan. Provide a general assessment of the sources of that investment, including appropriate financing at national, regional and Union level.
- List all energy subsidies, including in particular for fossil fuels, and actions undertaken as well as plans to phase them out.
- Include an analysis of the interactions with air quality and air emissions policy with the required information about the projected air pollutants emissions under the planned policies and measures.
- Integrate just and fair transition aspects better, notably by considering social and employment impacts, listing more concrete measures and timeframes to address energy poverty, as required by the Regulation (EU) 2018/1999. Discuss the needs and measures addressing the structural changes entailed by the clean energy transition for mono-industrial regions such as those depending on the coal industry or other energy-intensive sectors.