Power sector in 2030
Due to the role of electrification of other sectors, a rapid decarbonisation of the power sector is essential to achieve overall emissions reductions. According to 1.5°C compatible scenarios, the emissions intensity of electricity generation in Romania needs to decrease from around 310 gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to 20-40 gCO₂/kWh by 2030. This can be achieved by replacing current reliance on fossil fuels with heavy investments in renewables.
Current targets indicate that the Romanian power sector will be far from 1.5°C compatible by 2030. Despite a stated 2030 coal phase-out, greater ambition is needed to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C long-term temperature goal. The planned replacement of some coal plants with fossil gas plants would be a move in the wrong direction, let alone the 3.9 GW fossil gas capacities under construction as of august 2022. By 2030, the share of renewable energy in the power sector needs to be 88-92%. This would require a considerable upscaling of ambition from its current 2030 target of 30.7%.
Towards a fully decarbonised power sector
In order for Romania to decarbonise its power sector at a 1.5°C compatible pace, coal needs to be phased out by 2029 and fossil gas phase-out should occur between 2035 and 2039. Electricity generation should be fully decarbonised by the late 2030s.
Despite the significant return on investment provided by renewables, the Romanian Government shows no sign of committing to a rapid increase in their share within the power sector, with only 7.8% of investments in the period 2014-2020 directed towards the sector.
All analysed scenarios rely almost entirely on renewables to meet growing demand and replace fossil fuels. Scenarios with slower fossil fuel phase-out rely on the roll-out of CCS are characterised by a higher reliance on carbon removal technologies at a later date. These technologies are currently unproven at scale and are extremely expensive.