Romania's old power infrastructure doesn't help fight carbon emissions

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By Euronews
Romania carbon emissions
Romania carbon emissions   -  Copyright  Euronews Romania

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the use of coal in electricity production in the European Union has increased by 1.5%, according to energy think tank Ember

At the same time, according to Eurostat, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions increased in 16 EU states during the third quarter of 2022. 

Romania is ranked about the middle of the pack of EU countries which produce the most carbon emissions -- while Poland has the most emissions. 

In Poland most electricity is produced using coal. 

The least polluting countries are France -- where most electricity is produced using nuclear energy -- Luxembourg and Sweden.  

"Fossil fuels are still very widespread in terms of producing energy for us and for two reasons. Firstly, because renewable energy is very intermittent at the moment. It cannot solely supply the amount of energy we need to power all our homes, to heat our homes," explained Rick de Oliveira, an expert in energy trading at Telf AG

"And secondly, because the lack of supply, the price of gas is absolutely skyrocketed," he told Euronews. 

In Romania, a third of the country's electricity each year is produced in old coal or natural gas plants, and because of this the increase in gas prices was passed along to electricity customers too. 

"We are relying more and more on power plants that grow older, as long as we do not make new investments," explained energy expert Otilia Nuțu.

"Things won't change overnight, and we lost years. That’s the problem, because we did not invest in the last 6 years," she added. 

Until 2016 there were various investment support schemes, and European states spent a total of 1,000 billion euros to help the population with their rising energy bills.

But Rick de Oliveira says he thinks governments should be investing more in domestic renewable energy technology like solar, and batteries to store that solar energy. 

According to Eurostat, in the third quarter of 2022, EU countries released 854 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with Romania responsible for 3.5% of this amount.