The Romanian government aims to phase out coal by 2030, two years prior to the original objective set for 2032 that was announced in 2021. This announcement comes as some European countries are temporarily walking back on coal commitments to maintain energy security in the midst of the energy crisis created by the war in Ukraine. In an apparent shift towards other sources, Romania’s decision to bring forward coal exit comes just weeks after the country’s parliament voted to approve legislation that will reduce taxes on future income from offshore gas projects. Bucharest hopes to kickstart investments off the Black Sea coast, where lie an estimated 200 bcm of natural gas.
In 2020, coal represented 15% of Romania’s total installed capacity and 17% of its power generation, whereas gas represented 6% of the country’s installed capacity and 17% of its power generation. As the coal sector is becoming less viable in the European Union, only a handful of European countries now plan to phase out of coal after 2030, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Czechia.