EPG Anniversary Conference: The Clean Energy Transition in Romania and the Southeast European Region

The Energy Policy Group (EPG) organised an anniversary conference on 28 May 2024 to mark a decade of activity. The conference entitled ‘EPG at 10: The Clean Energy Transition in Romania and the Southeast European Region’ brought together leading energy experts, government officials and civil society representatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the transition to a low-carbon economy.


A look into the future: challenges and opportunities

The conference provided a platform to reflect on the progress made over the last ten years and to explore future challenges and opportunities. The event included a series of panel discussions with experts, addressing crucial topics such as:

  • Regional cooperation priorities during energy transition and under geopolitical stress
  • Developments in the energy sector over the last decade, identifying future development directions
  • Challenges and opportunities for the transition by 2030
  • Europe’s post-2035 economy in the context of the energy transition.


High-level dialogue on regional cooperation

“EPG’s 10-year anniversary conference was an excellent opportunity to discuss the achievements of the Romanian energy sector over the past 10 years, to assess progress towards the 2030 targets in the energy transition and to understand European and global trends for 2035 and beyond. The line-up of panellists was an elite one, and the high-level conversation at the opening, which brought together Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Energy, Carolina Novac, State Secretary in the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Moldova, Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of DG Energy, and Julian Popov, former Minister of Environment in Bulgaria, summarised not only national priorities but also the importance of cooperation in major energy projects in the South-East European region. We are extremely grateful for their participation,” said Radu Dudau, EPG President.


In-depth discussions on key energy topics

After the high-level dialogue, the conference continued with:

  1. Challenges and opportunities for the transition by 2030. The panel included interventions from Cristina Pruna, Vice-President of the Committee for Industry and Services, Chamber of Deputies; Alina Popa, CFO and member of the Board of Directors at OMV Petrom; Adrian Dugulan, CEO of PPC Renewables Romania and Daniela Daraban, Executive Director of ACUE.
  2. Energy sector review of the last 10 years and future development directions. This session brought together Mara Roman, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Romania, Matthias Buck, Director Europe, Agora Energiewende, and Lee Beck, Director Europe and Middle East, Clean Air Task Force, in a dialogue moderated by Luciana Miu, Director of EPG’s Clean Economy Department.
  3. The European economy after 2035.

“The role of a think-tank is not only to offer solutions to current problems, but also to present informed and data-driven visions of the future. So, I was very happy to have a very interesting discussion about the European economy after 2030. Alexandra Bocse, State Counsellor in the Presidential Administration, spoke to us about Romania’s institutional capacity to implement climate policies, and also about the role of the Romanian economy in a low greenhouse gas emission economy. Jozsef Feiler, Director for Southeast Europe at the European Climate Foundation, gave us an encouraging perspective on the decarbonisation of the energy sector in the region, especially in Romania. Christian Egenhofer, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the European University Institute and Centre for European Policy Studies, gave us an innovative perspective on transition in the Western Balkans region and the future of industrial policy. Last but not least, Milan Elkerbout, researcher at Resources for the Future (USA), presented a broader picture of global climate and manufacturing clean technology efforts and his vision of Europe’s role in this transformation,” said Mihnea Catuti, Research Director, EPG.


A decade of advocacy for clean energy

Over the past ten years, EPG has been instrumental in promoting ambitious climate policies and clean energy investments in Romania and the CEE region. The think-tank has carried out numerous studies and analyses that have informed policy makers and contributed to the development of national and regional decarbonisation strategies. EPG has also facilitated dialogue and cooperation between various stakeholders in the energy sector, helping to build consensus on the need for a just and sustainable energy transition.

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