Central and Eastern Europe in the Era of the new energy transition

Posted on 28 June 2018

As the global energy sector enters a new era, how can it adapt to continuously changing geopolitical, economic, technological and social conditions? The energy transition poses serious questions, challenges and opportunities for countries, industries, professionals and academics in central and Eastern Europe.

In reponse to this, the Romanian National Committee of the World Energy Council organised the 14th Regional Energy Forum in Central and Eastern Europe – FOREN 2018, 12 – 16 June.

More than 200 high-level speakers debated some of the most critical issues facing today’s regional energy industry in the form of 10 events, consisting of conferences, round tables, workshops, and 5 scientific sessions under the overall theme ‘Central and Eastern Europe in The New Era of Energy Transition: Challenges, Investment Opportunity and Technological Innovations’.

Key issues focused on:

  • financing of emerging energy sector risks such as cyber and weather risks
  • issues and possibilities of E-mobility
  • technology disruptions in th energy market, looking at impacts like digitalisation (including blockchains and cyber threats), decarbonisation and deregulation
  • world energy resources – management, current challenges
  • energy efficiency – developments and trends at national and European level
  • distributed energy production
  • development of primary energy sources in the region
  • financing of sustainable energy development
  • RES integration, new trends and issues
  • performance of generating plants

At the event opened by Mr Iulian Iancu, Chairman of the Romanian member committee at the Vox Maris Grand Resort Costinesti, he stressed the importance of the event and outlined FOREN as a celebration of the energy sector in the region.

He also described the event as a forum dedicated to driving debate, analyses and solutions dedicated to experts and their peers within the energy community.

“Since January 2017, we have witnessed a transition period that involves a totally different approach to the environment, to life, to the way we think, produce and use energy. Energy has become central to all issues, politically, economically and socially, and is also the solution. The events that we have witnessed over the past two years have shown that at least in our European, Central, South-Eastern European region, we can see interesting valences which, in addition to breaking down certain myths, reveal sensations of extreme sensitivity – very high in the security zone”, said Mr Iancu in the opening speech of the forum.

Mr Einari Kisel, Regional Manager for Europe and Senior Fellow on European Policies, World Energy Council, gave a presentation on the Council’s insights and current content work  focusing on the three Ds: decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation, issues which are central to the transition in the energy sector, through which the objectives of energy efficiency, energy sustainability, energy security will be achieved.

FOREN 2018 also hosted an international exhibition where more than 30 Romanian and foreign companies presented their most recent achievements.

Romanian Future Energy Leaders organised a Workshop on ”Youth’s Role in the Energy Sector” seeking to identify problems and find solutions to increasing young people’s  involvement in Energy. The workshop, coordinated by Mihai Toader-Pasti, FEL Romania Chairman and Climate Ambassador, Global Youth Climate Network, was based on design thinking methodology.

It was attended by people both from the private and public sector, academia, NGOs and specialists who shared positive examples from their experience and explained their vision of   how young people can influence the sector. The FEL Romania members also actively participated in 3 main events as speakers. A group of 7th grade students were invited to attend the Forum events.

List of additional speakers

Doru Visan – Secretary of State, Romanian Ministry of Energy; Paula Pirvanescu – Secretary of State, Ministry of Business Environment;  Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Adrian BADEA – President, Academy of Romanian Scientists; Dumitru Chiriţă – President, Romanian Energy Regulatory Agency;  Corneliu Bodea – President, Romanian Energy Center;  Constantin Gheorghe – President, Regulatory Competent for Offshore Oil Operation at the Black Sea;  Cornel Brezuică – President Environment Administration Fund; Nataliya Zaiser, Executive Secretary, World Energy Council Russia; and  influential presidents, CEOs and energy leaders from some of the largest energy companies in the region.

At the end of the Forum, preliminary conclusions were drawn by Mr Stefan Gheorghe, Executive Director General, Romanian member committee, and the best papers presented during scientific sessions were awarded.

The conclusions and recommendations resulting from discussions at FOREN 2018 will formulate topics for a dedicated workshop in August.