The Energy Ministry's priorities in the upcoming period will be mainly related to investment in dealing with the environmental issues at the coal-fired power stations, extremely important to the Romanian energy sector, but also on solving the infringement proceedings with the European Commission, Energy Minister Anton Anton stated on Thursday."I have simple plans: the governing programme and within the governing programme I want citizens to feel that there is an Energy Ministry that takes care of them," the minister said.
Further on, he specified that the governing programme focuses on coal energy production as it poses the biggest issues, due to pollution, for which Romania risks infringement proceedings on behalf of the European Commission.
He reminded that the Energy Ministry will be preparing a national strategy of this sector, together with the Environment Ministry.
He further said that his predecessor left a pile of cases that the two of them discussed point by point.
At the same time, when asked about Romania's position with regard to the European Parliament's decision that by 2030 the renewable energy must account for 35 percent of consumption, Anton replied: "I repeat, Romania has the advantage of an energy mix that we can use. Now, the European Parliament comes and provides some figures meant to motivate, right? (...) Now Romania must analyse: is it possible or not? That's what we will do."
Anton also wanted to bring to mind that when he was minister of Research, he "spoke so much that his mouth dried up" about the need to allocate 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to research, as requested by the European Parliament but in the end no country allocated more than 2 percent.
Journalist also wanted to find out what the minister intends to do with the 400 million euro the Romanian state received last year from Enel, based on a Paris Court ruling.
"But I didn't find it in a drawer," Anton replied laughing. "I did not find it in any drawer. Let's see. Surely, what can we do, whatever can be done with this money. I, for one, all priorities are related to investment. We are carrying out investment in (...) Iernut [the natural gas station Romgaz is building in Iernat - ed.n.], we want to finalise the hydro power plants, we are two steps away (...) I will go there and we are going to set the hydro power plants afloat. There is one extremely important investment, related to the nuclear, groups 1 and 2 need to be upgraded and groups 3 and 4 need to be negotiated and finalised. Let's get to work! So all the money, any penny I have will go in investment," the minister concluded.
The Energy Minister participated on Thursday in the conference titled "Financing energy efficiency in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria," organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Energy Ministry.