Romania, Romania may still have 2,100 MW in coal capacity by 2030

, SEE Energy News

According to the latest Bankwatch report, in 2020, the installed coal capacity in the Romanian energy system stood at 4,590 MW in eight thermal power plants, and produced approximately 17 % of the electricity consumed in the country.

The report states that the decreasing trend of coal-fired electricity generation capacity continues until 2026, after which it stagnates. In 2021, a capacity of 1,695 MW entered the closure process, at TPP Mintia (Energy Complex Hunedoara) and one unit in TPPs Isalniza and Turceni each (Energy Complex Oltenia).

However, according to Bankwatch’s calculations resulting from the analysis of official documents and authorities’ statements, Romania will have an installed capacity of 2,100 MW in 2030, or 1,650 MW if more coal units are replaced with natural gas, as stated several times by the Ministry of Energy.

President of Bankwatch Romania Ioana Ciuta said that the uncertainty created around the coal phase-out by postponing firm political decisions, only delays the planning of its replacement with clean energy sources and the necessary programs to reduce the social impact in coal areas. Although the Government has set the date for coal phase-out, it is still unclear what will happen to some of coal-fired units, as mentions of them can be found only in political statements, not in official documents.

As of 17 August, industrial combustion plants in Romania will be required to comply with new emission standards adopted by the European Commission through the Industrial Emissions Directive. The Bankwatch report states that no coal-fired power plant falls within the new limits, according to data from 2019.

However, during 2020 and 2021, Energy Complex Oltenia announced modernizations of its operational units. TPP Paroseni of the Energy Complex Hunedoara will also be compliant, and works on a desulphurization plant started in 2018. In more difficult situations are one unit from CET Govora and one unit from CET Iasi II, for which no
modernizations have been made. CET Govora had planned installations for the reduction of harmful gases, but did not carry them out due to lack of funds and the installation operates without an integrated environmental permit. The situation of CET Iasi is uncertain, the thermal power plant is to be taken over by the local authorities, but there is no plan for compliance to the new standards.