Old is the new new: Romania’s fresh energy strategy revives Communist era power projects despite much lower consumption

Sorin Melenciuc 20/09/2018 | 14:50

Romania’s Energy Ministry released on Thursday a fresh version of the strategy in energy until 2030, the third in the last couple of years, including major projects considered top priorities for the country, most of them designed during the Communist era, when the huge energy-intensive industry needed large power capacities. 

According to the new project consulted by Business Review, the top priority projects are: 3 and 4 units of Cernavoda nuclear power plant (project designed in the 1970s), Tarnița-Lăpuștești hydroelectric pumped-storage power station (designed in the 1980s), Romanian-Bulgarian hydropower plant Turnu Măgurele-Nicopole (designed in the 1980s) and new thermoelectric group at Rovinari (extending the Communist-built coal power plant).

If built, these new power capacities will significantly extend Romania’s power production capacity, by more than 3,000 MW, in a moment when the power consumption in the country is rather flat and power exports are declining.

The strategy is not clear about who will consume all this extra-power but claims that these new projects will make Romania “a regional supplier of energy security”.

According to the project, Romania needs to invest around EUR 15 billion in 15 years in the energy sector.

Official data showed that Romania’s households have reduced their electricity consumption by 11.2 percent in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period of 2017, for a total of 6.09 TWh. Public lighting consumption also decreased by 3.5 percent in January-July 2018.

However, the total national consumption of electric energy rose by 2.1 percent year-on-year in January-July 2017, up to 32.47 TWh.

But the companies have increased consumption by 5.9 percent in the first seven months of this year, keeping the demand for electricity high.

Romania’s electricity production increased by 1.4 percent in January-July 2018.

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