The government will be allowed to postpone the closure of some coal-fired energy facilities and related mining and quarrying operations or restart closed energy facilities and related mining and quarrying operations in the event of an energy crisis, according to an emergency ordinance passed recently.
“In an energy crisis, the Romanian government, at the proposal of the Ministry of Energy, may take a decision to postpone the closure of coal-fired energy facilities and related mining and quarrying operations or to restart closed energy facilities and related mining and quarrying operations in compliance with the environmental legislation and the deadline for completing the decarbonisation of the energy sector and in correlation with the measures included in the emergency plans related to the energy sector,” the Ministry of Energy reported.
In order to bridge the capacity deficit created by the elimination of coal from the energy mix, investments are made for the commissioning by 2030 of new hydroelectric production facilities and nuclear energy facilities.
At the proposal of the Ministry of Energy, the government passed an emergency ordinance on decarbonisation of Romania’s energy sector, a milestone in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), given that the phased elimination of lignite and coal-fired power plants is part of Component C6. Energy, Pillar I. The green transition under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The bill establishes the general legal framework for the phased elimination from the energy mix of electricity production based on lignite and coal, deadlines for closing and conserving energy facilities operating on lignite and coal and measures including securing the reserves for a safe and stable operation of the National Electric Power Grid.
The mines and quarries will be withdrawn from operation and preserved in conjunction with the commissioning of investments in natural gas and renewable energy.
At the quarries where the mining activity of lignite mining ceases, permanent closure and greening works will be carried out, considering the fact that the lignite mining activity had an impact on the environmental components, with the soil being the most affected. Also, closed coal mines can be included in the tourist circuit, in compliance with the legal provisions in force regarding the safety and security of visitors.
The ordinance also establishes a series of social protection measures, as well as measures for professional retraining.