Energy Efficiency in Romania

IndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2005

By Cruceru Mihai

The primary energy demand in 2003 in Romania was ensured in proportion of 21.5% from coal, 28.5% from crude oil, 35% from natural gas, 3.5% hydroelectric units, 3.1% nuclear units, 4.8% from secondary energy resources and 3.5% from renewable and other types of fuel.

In April 2004, the Romanian Government adopted the strategy for the mining industry for the period 2004 - 2010, aiming at rehabilitating, upgrading and privated mines, promoting environmental protection standards and mitigating the social consequence of the closure of non-viable mines. Solid fuels will remain a key (domestic) energy source for Romania.

Opportunities for energy saving in Romania

Management and energy services companies are, in accordance with the existing Romanian legislation, those companies having as a object of activity the management and the energy service delivery, by which is developed, created and ensured the projects financing for improving the energy efficiency and for reducing maintenance and operation cost. The market of energy efficiency shall be a completely competitive market, on which energy saving should be transacted by means of bilateral contracts called management contracts and energy services delivery negotiated between the parties, as well as through tenders. Energy services making the object of bilateral contracts shall be delivered by management and energy services companies for the benefit of economic agents from all sectors of the domestic economy, the payment of rendered services following to be made only after obtaining measurable performance, specified by contract.

The energy efficiency market regulation shall be made by issue and employment of the provisions provided by the normative acts from the field of primary and secondary legislation. These make reference to:

  • Regulation of the accrediting system of legal and natural persons authorised to perform energy audits;
  • Regulation of the legal frame of management companies and energy services companies and of the actions corresponding to energy consumption management;
  • Regulation of methods and procedures of measurement and verification of technical and financing performances of energy services (IPMVP).

In accordance with the commitment of the Romanian Government to reorient the energy policy from power generation to an active and aggressive policy in the field of energy saving and with the legal provisions in force, the supervision of the energy efficiency market pertains to the attributions of the Romanian Agency for Energy Conservation, which realises this activity in co-operation with competent administrative structures authorised in accordance with the law. Aspects, which are taken into consideration, are:

  • Compliance with the technical regulation regarding energy efficiency;
  • Monitoring of the indexes of energy efficiency achieved as result of implementing some projects for which the beneficiary profited of financial or fiscal incentives;
  • Compliance with the competencies obtained by legal or natural person as result of obtaining the authorisation for effecting energy balances.

With regard to private initiative encouragement for initiating and developing energy efficiency projects, this will be achieved by adopting some measures of sustaining the market of energy services, such as:

  • Facilities to management and energy services companies investing internal or external capital in energy efficiency projects, depending on achieved performances;
  • Facilities also in the cases in which the investments are realised from own resources or attracted ones, including by financing schemes for energy efficiency (IPMVP Protocol).

In the same context, for the proper positioning of the energy saving in relation to its generation and delivery, various limitations, including the environmental ones must be materialised in cost that should be internalised with those considered for composing the energy tariffs.

In order to support the energy efficiency programs and according to the provisions of the Energy Charter Protocol, approx. EURO 1 million was allotted for industrial consumers and local authorities in 2000. Approx. EURO 0.96

millions were allotted in order to rehabilitate heating systems and to build up biomass heating power stations in 2001. The Romanian Found for Energy Efficiency of EURO 11.2 millions was established in co-operation with the Global Environmental Facility and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by Government Emergency Ordinance 124/2001 in October 2001. The Funds started to finance energy efficiency projects from 2002.

Promoting a regional initiative regarding energy efficiency

Based on Romanian commitment oriented towards to the reorientation of the energy policy form power generation to an active policy in the field on energy saving and the creation of a competitive energy services market, its possible extension at a regional scale will be feasible if the co-operation is mainly structured upon the following directions:

  • Elaborating the secondary legislation regarding the energy efficiency market regulation and the activity of management and energy saving companies;
  • Developing and implementing the information frame necessary for storing, processing and monitoring data on results of action for improving energy efficiency in all relevant sectors, participation to international programs and projects with scientific and application character financed by the European Union and intensifying research, development and dissemination activities by means of pilot-projects, in the field of energy efficiency;
  • Extension of projects financed by “Joint-Implementation” mechanisms;
  • Extension on new basis of concerns aiming at energy efficiency at regional level, including by attracting financial resources made available by the structures of the Stability Pact in the Balkans;
  • Promoting a regional initiative regarding energy efficiency by jointly implementing projects aiming the priority of environmental protection.