The Energy Challenges Facing Romania: Networks, the Free Market and Regulatory Frameworks

Published on Thursday, 5 March 2015

The fourth edition of the ZF Power Summit – an important event organised by the Romanian daily Ziarul Financiar that focuses on the energy industry – was recently held in Bucharest.

Some of the sector's leading experts participated in the meeting, including the Romanian ministers of the Economy and the Environment, managers of regulatory bodies, entrepreneurs and bankers. Several issues were discussed at the meeting, from the variation of oil and gas prices and investment opportunities in the domestic market to the development of interconnection projects and the objectives of Romania's new Energy Strategy, which has led to a change in the regulatory framework.

Among those taking part in the debate was Enel's Country Manager in Romania Toni Volpe, who in a panel spoke about the challenges facing Romania in 2015. 'The regulatory framework was expected to remain intact for several years, but the Romanian authorities have decided to change the rate of return regulations, a decision that surprised distributors,' said Volpe. 'Enel is the second largest energy distributor and retailer in terms of installed capacity and the number one utility in terms of economic performance and quality of service. It will continue to work on the modernisation of its network and the development of the free market. We now expect to see the definition of a reliable and stable regulatory framework, which will be necessary for the growth of investments.'

Enel, which has been active in the Romanian market since 2005, is currently the country's largest private investor in the energy sector, with operations in power distribution and supply, as well as renewable energy production. The company has over 3,400 employees and provides services to 2.7 million customers in three strategic areas: Muntenia Sud (including Bucharest), Banat and Dobrogea, which represent one third of the electricity distribution market in Romania. Enel is also developing a major investment programme in order to ensure the best possible service to users, while increasing the quality and safety of the power grid, in accordance with the sustainability objectives outlined by the Group.