By Constantin Radut
Since the beginning of January 2020, when winter launched its first cold arrows, Romania’s energy system has been in great difficulty.
Of the 17 days that have passed, Romania has been a net energy importer, except for two days. In the days with peak consumption of 8500-9400 MW, the National Energy System (SEN) only ensures the operation of 7500-8000 MW. The rest is from import. Yesterday morning, at consumption of 9300 MW, Romania imported more than 1800 MW. According to Transelectrica, the electricity import capacity is 2000-2200 MW. We have every chance that this winter, SEN will fall, and the disaster will long affect the national economy
This situation should be an alarm signal for the Government and especially for the relevant ministry. But the Ministry of Energy no longer exists, it has turned into a department headed by an old boss, Nicoale Havrilet, who has run for many years the energy regulatory authority (ANRE).
Havrilet is on a lot of money and little is interested in the good functioning of SEN. His obligation is to please the superiors of the ministry who do not know anything about electricity.
Romania officially has the capacity to produce electricity with a total installed power of 20,696 MW, according to data from the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE).
The official statistics were introduced on the institution’s website, indicating the existence of installed capacities of 20,696,688 MW in total, of which 31.4% hydro (6,703 MW), 23.1% on coal (4,787 MW), 15, 7% hydrocarbons (3,240 MW), 14.6% wind (3,023 MW), 6.8% nuclear (1,413 MW), 6.7% solar (1,391 MW) and 0.5% biomass (112 MW).
The energy crisis in Romania began in 2008-2009, when the authorities gave the green light to support renewable energy. The capacities in the wind and then in the photovoltaic energy have increased exponentially in only 5 years. Investors have earned their money from consumer pockets and now they would like to have state subsidies again.
We note: The national energy system has deteriorated due to the lobbying made by the renewable energy investors to prevent the state from investing in coal-fired power plants. That’s what happened. Coal plants in Romania are technologically outdated, not profitable. The two groups of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, whose investment was to start, have been on stand-by for over 5 years. Hidroelectrica is beginning to be used as well as morale, investments have been minimal. The new capacities were very few. Only OMVPetrom started up a 800 MW gas plant. The second, Iernut, in which Romgaz invests, is delayed in operation.
Romania’s energy mix is a good one. But if no investments are made to increase production capacities, the national energy system will collapse.
By Constantin Radut