Gas prices to increase by 150 pc during next five years

Gas prices will increase by 150 per cent by the time the market deregulation is complete in 2019, inflicting a price shock on the population unless measures are taken to improve efficiency and saving, Aureliu Leca, Energy expert and executive chairman of the Romanian Association for Promoting Energy Efficiency, stated at the launch of the White Paper on Energy Efficiency by the Romanian Association Romanian Association for Promoting Energy Efficiency together with the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce. According to Leca, the number of consumers who will no longer be able to pay their bills will also go up following the increase, and welfare benefits will not be enough. “(…) We are forced by European directives to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent before 2020, and if we don’t take this matter seriously, we run the risk of not meeting this requirement,” Leca said. He underlined there are two areas that could help Romania improve energy efficiency – constructions and central heating. Romania’s energy intensity – the quantity of energy used to produce 1 per cent of GDP – is currently two times higher than the European average, as shown in the White Paper on Energy Efficiency. Meanwhile, the annual energy consumption in Romanian households is 265 kWh per square meter, compared to 125 kWh per square meter, the European average. Romanian energy consumption per Gross Domestic Product (GDP) unit is 2.5 times higher than the EU average. Thus, between EUR 5 billion and EUR 7 billion could be saved if energy efficiency measures are implemented, which would translate into a 4 to 6 per cent increase in GDP without additional energy consumption, the Energy document shows.
On the other hand, Dan Gheorghiu, Energy Counselor to PM Victor Ponta, also attended the public event and stated the Government is analyzing the possibility of implementing a ‘Scrap-car’-type program for gas cookers in order to encourage people to use electricity instead of gas. According to Gheorghiu, this measure could also free up large quantities of primarily domestically produced gas, which would then be used by the industry. “The rationale behind this relies on the fact that we have an electricity production surplus. Romania can produce 11,000 MW, given its current capacity, but domestic consumption is only 7,500 MW at present,” Gheorghiu explained.
On a different topic, Taner Yildiz, Turkey’s Energy Minister, came to Bucharest yesterday to meet with Romanian counterpart, Constantin Nita, and PM Victor Ponta.

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