Romania delays adoption of energy and climate plan, casts doubt on renewable targets

The Romanian government will neither adopt its National Integrated Energy and Climate Change Plan before the expected 30 June deadline nor will the country meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, an energy ministry official said on Thursday. The Energy Ministry aims to have a revised version of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Change Plan (PNIESC) by the end of April, but a ministry official admitted it is unlikely to meet the 30 June deadline for government approval set by the Energy Union Governance Regulation.

“We have to be realistic … we will not have a PNIESC adopted by Government Decision on 30 June, as stipulated in the Governance Regulation of the Energy Union,” Elena Popescu, deputy general director of the Energy Policy and Green Deal Directorate within the Energy Ministry, said at an event organised by Freedom House Romania. By 30 June, the Energy Ministry aims to have “a final text that is in an advanced stage of strategic environmental assessment,” Popescu said. She acknowledged the challenges of aligning with Commission recommendations, which consistently stress that Romania’s plans “are not ambitious enough.”

Last December, the European Commission provided feedback to Bucharest on the National Integrated Energy and Climate Change Plan 2023-2030. Among the Commission’s concerns were the lack of detailed measures on renewable energy, insufficient plans for climate and energy transition, and insufficient funding sources. Popescu also said that Romania’s target of 36.2% renewable energy by 2030, as set out in the draft PNIESC, fell short of the Commission’s request for 41%. She noted that even the proposed 36.2% target was considered “very ambitious and difficult to reach” by other Romanian ministries. Romanian officials are working to revise the plan based on the Commission’s consultations and recommendations, Popescu said, adding that Romania will use all available resources, including gas, to facilitate the transition to decarbonisation.