Romania risks losing 40% of its power generating capacities under a European Union financial plan to move to a green economy and make the EU climate neutral, the country’s prime minister says.
Premier Ludovic Orban said “solutions to substitute this loss are urgently needed” to transition to renewable energies, in meetings Wednesday with business leaders.
He said that if the EU phases out fossil fuels as outlined in its plan to zero out its contributions to climate change and transform Europe’s economy, Romania must find other sources.
“Coal is anyway condemned as an energy source…. and by 2030 we need to find solutions to diminish gases which generate greenhouse gases,” he said.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, outlined the investment plan, a mix of private and public funds, on Jan. 14. The Green Deal is aimed at making Europe the world’s first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
It’s considered the most ambitious vision of any government to date to address the climate crisis and aims to make the 28 member states “climate neutral” by 2050.
Climate neutrality means emissions will yield no net impact on the climate, and includes warming effects that don’t come from carbon.
Last week Orban said that Romania would scrap a partnership with Chinese investors to build two new reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in the context of the Green Deal.
Romania’s second-biggest electricity producer in Romania, Complexul Energetic Oltenia, announced plans earlier this month to close all of its coal-fired power plants and coal mines and replace them with gas-fired power plants and renewable energy capacities, Economica.net reported.
The plan was included in a memorandum approved by the Government at the end of last year, under which the company received state loan of 1.2 billion lei to pay off its CO2 certificates.
The company hopes to convince the European Commission to approve a state aid for five years and help it make the transition to cleaner energy.
The European Commission has allocated 7.5 billion euros to the Fair Transition Fund (JTF), which aims to assist countries with coal-based industries to move from fossil fuels to other energy sources.
Orban said that Romania will receive 750 million euros from the fund to compensate for its losses making it the third-largest recipient of funds.
Poland will receive 2.1 euros billion through this fund, Poland, has so far refused to agree to the current timetable, due to its economy’s reliance on coal. It currently produces around 80% of its power from coal. Germany will receive 877 million euros,
Oher recipients will be the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands.