The European Commission has presented a €750 billion plan to create a “green recovery” fund for the EU countries, with up a quarter of the fund to be used to achieve climate neutrality in the energy sector as part of the “green deal”. The authors of the project believe that environmental sustainability should become a cornerstone of recovery measures alongside with digitalization. The plan is to be discussed by the EU member states and will be implemented after it receives their approval.
Romania is one of the leaders in Europe in terms carbon neutrality, having reached its 2020 target to increase the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in gross final energy consumption to 24% long before the deadline. In order to achieve its 2030 targets, the country intends to build about 7 GW of renewable capacity, 3.7 GW of which will be solar energy, according to the National Energy Sector Development Project.
The renewable energy sector is driven by the largest companies in the Romanian market operating in the field of conventional resources, which use wind and solar parks to enhance the efficiency of existing facilities and offer modern solutions to consumers.
For instance, Romgaz, a state-owned gas supplier, intends to launch a major investment program in renewable energy, while OMV Petrom has already announced its plan to install solar panels at 78 of its filling stations in Romania. Petrotel LUKOIL Refinery is also using a solar station, which helps to ensure its energy efficiency.
This is exactly what made Romania one of the seven countries that requested the European Commission to include conventional sources in the investment plan of the “green recovery” fund aimed at reviving the European economy after the coronavirus pandemic.
The market’s biggest companies were the first to come to the rescue during the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Petrotel LUKOIL donated more than $100,000 to hospitals in the Prakhov region and to the regional Red Cross unit to promptly purchase personal protective equipment for doctors treating coronavirus patients.
Moreover, in order to keep the epidemiological situation in the region under control, the company switched some of its personnel to home office with full pay.
At the same time, while pursuing the course of achieving climate neutrality in this difficult time, Petrotel LUKOIL was the first company in the country to fulfil the requirement of the Ministry of the Environment and install air monitoring stations at three locations in the city of Ploiești in order to completely avoid causing damage to the lungs of the local population and further reduce its carbon footprint.
The existing model of cooperation with the country’s energy companies, which is based on long-term investment programmes for environmental security and general energy efficiency improvement, is the cornerstone of Romania’s comprehensive efforts to achieve EU climate targets.
According to the plan to create a “green recovery” fund for the European economy, its main principle will be to “do no harm”, which will be expressed in the development of local recovery plans for each of the European countries, taking into account the specifics of the national energy mix. Thus, Romanian energy sustainability, which guarantees an evolutionary development of the sector through deep long-term multistakeholder cooperation, could become one of the best sectoral practices for the entire region.