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Romania’s dilemma – nuclear power or clean energy

Nuclear vs renewable, the debate dividing Romania’s green transition, euronews. By Hans von der Brelie  11/06/2021 ”………………..Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward…….Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward.

……Romania now wants to build two more reactors there and upgrade the existing ones. That’s an investment of around six billion euros, according to Teodor Chirica, the chairman of the board and former President of FORATOM, a Brussels-based pro-nuclear organisation.

However, the European Commission is shortly expected to label nuclear energy as green or not, thereby putting future investments into the industry in question.

… Teodor Chirica   believes that if people don’t accept nuclear energy as a green one, then nuclear won’t have the same access to financing as other competitors. That in turn will “affect the economic part” of the project to increase the nuclear plants’ capacities.

The Anti-Nuclear movement

Lavinia Andrei is the President of Terra Mileniul III, a known figure within Romania’s still small anti-nuclear movement. She tells us that using public funds to invest in nuclear energy will have a negative impact on the development of renewables.

“If you allocate this money for nuclear power, that means that you disadvantage another sector, like renewables. The transport company of energy said that the capacity of the network is not enough for the nuclear power plant and for the renewables”, she explains.

Climate change and nuclear energy

There is one other problem. Climate change means that rivers have less water, water which is needed to cool nuclear plants. Even the Danube has been affected by this. Cernavoda had to close down once already in summer and such scenarios could happen more often in the future……….

Sorin Zamfir is the maintenance supervisor at the ENEL wind park in Dobrogea. He says that “harnessing wind energy implies using a new, modern, high-end technology”. He thinks it’s “very important to bring this kind of new technology to the local community”. It’s something that he feels brings them closer to Europe, “putting them on the map”.

ENEL tells us that for wind energy to fully develop, “the most important factor is the building of new transmission lines which are needed to bring the electricity from the wind/solar power plants to the customers”. A problem at the moment is that “the development speed of wind projects is much higher compared to the development of new transmission lines” and that represents a huge challenge to renewable energies.

Room for development

There is no doubt that Romania’s wind energy potential is not yet fully exploited. Many more turbines could be installed. Sorin believes that wind parks could expand and produce all of Romania’s energy needs.

Romania is also a sunny place, solar power could play a bigger role in the country’s future energy mix. Andrei Bucur is an elected board member of Cooperativa de Energie, Romania’s first 100 percent green energy supplier. The small cooperative has ambitious plans.

Bucur points out that solar energy has huge potential in Romania. He sees the 1.5 million square meters of warehouse roofs as a perfect place for solar panel installation………..

The European Commission must stay neutral regarding the energy sources member states choose to use, but labelling nuclear green or not will have a huge impact on investment decisions for years to come. https://www.euronews.com/2021/06/11/nuclear-vs-renewable-the-debate-dividing-romania-s-green-transition

June 14, 2021 - Posted by | EUROPE, renewable

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