Interview: Dr Iulian Iancu, Chair of WEC Romania

Dr Iulian Iancu, Chair of WEC Romania, talks about what the FOREN regional meeting for central and eastern Europe has on offer for the WEC network

What is the significance of FOREN taking place in Romania this year?

Starting this year, with the support of the WEC London Secretariat, FOREN becomes a regional event. In this context, FOREN will be a platform for discussing regional energy policies and the new challenges related to EU energy directives and targets in the coming decades.  The event will provide an opportunity for identifying regional opportunities and strategic projects of national and regional interest. This includes the use of renewables and new, high-efficiency technologies, and the implementation of measures to increase energy efficiency.

What role does Romania play in the European and global energy sector?

Romania ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and has firm commitments to reducing greenhouse gases.

Romania is campaigning internationally to achieve a new global commitment post-Kyoto.  On the legislative framework, it has signed up to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide.

Due to its location, Romania will play a key role in the transit of Caspian oil and natural gas to Central and Eastern Europe, and in the storage of up to 6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in underground deposits.

There will be significant changes over the next 5–10 years in Romania’s national energy balance due to new discoveries of natural gas deposits in the Black Sea, new estimates (based on prospecting) of its own natural gas and shale gas reserves, and new shale gas operating methods and technologies.

What are your predictions for Romania’s energy sector for the next five years?

Taking into account the development in recent years, Romania will generate a significant share of electricity from wind (7–8% of total production). Its nuclear programme will continue with the construction of units 3 and 4 at the Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant (2×700 MW CANDU) and with a new pumping station at the Tarniţa hydropower plant.

Romania will create a development strategy for the energy sector including energy efficiency measures, in accordance with EU regulation.  These should support sustainable development of the national economy and help Romania achieve the status as a regional energy hub.

Romania will complete liberalising its electricity and the natural gas markets under the EU’s third legislative package for an internal European energy market, and will introduce changes in the principles and methods for
calculating and establishing royalties (negotiated production tax paid by the operator to the state).

What are some highlights at FOREN?

Among the issues proposed for discussion, we consider the following as the most important at national and regional levels:

Implementing the third legislative package for electricity and natural gas National energy strategies in regional and European contexts Updating the primary legislation on the promotion of renewables in the Romanian Parliament Solutions for achieving national and regional energy security Roadmap for the Romanian National Action Plan on energy efficiency Sustainable development of renewable energy resources Cleaner fossil fuel technologies Smart grids Projects of intraregional and interregional integration of electricity markets Innovative financing mechanisms for energy projects, including energy efficiency Advanced geological techniques for the search and exploitation of new energy resources.

What would you expect WEC members to gain from the event?

FOREN 2012 will provide a platform for discussion on the directions and solutions for national and regional energy development in Central and Eastern Europe.  It will also identify and promote strategic projects of regional interest in the Black Sea region and southeast Europe.

Participation of key players from major companies, institutions and authorities involved in energy will help better understand the region’s challenges and will create the opportunity to link national energy policies in order to meet the EU targets for 2020 and 2050.

Central & Eastern Europe FOREN will take place in Neptun-Olimp, Romania, during 17–21 June, with the support of many corporate members of WEC and its Romanian committee.

 

Dr Iulian Iancu is the Chairman of the WEC Romanian National Committee. He became a Member of the Romanian Parliament in 2005. Dr Iancu has extensive experience in the oil and gas sector, having held directorships at various national gas companies and senior posts at regulatory bodies.