As of 2022, electricity consumption in Romania falls below the global average with about 340 watts per person compared to the world's 412 watts per person. Two-thirds of the country's electricity generation comes from low-carbon sources, which includes hydropower, nuclear, wind, and solar energy. Hydropower accounts for 84 watts per person, nuclear for 67, wind energy for 42 and solar with a modest contribution of 11 watts per person. On the other hand, the reliance on fossil fuels, primarily coal and gas, contributes to about a third of the electricity consumption in Romania, with coal and gas supplying 61 and 60 watts per person, respectively, with oil and biofuels making minimal contributions. This level of generation and dependence on fossil fuels could potentially lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and consequences, such as pollution and climate change. It is also noteworthy that net imports make up over 2% of Romania's electricity consumption, with peak value of imports reaching up to 31%.
To augment their low-carbon electricity generation, Romania could expand existing nuclear and wind resources, which they've proven capacity and competence in operating. Notably, countries like Sweden, France, and Finland have significantly higher per capita nuclear power generation, with numbers ranging from 517 to 559 watts per person. Similarly, Denmark and Sweden have harnessed wind power effectively, each providing 369 and 363 watts per person, respectively. These countries exhibit how an effective use of readily available low-carbon energy sources can significantly increase the country’s electricity production and thus, Romania can learn and adapt successful models from these countries to help increase their low-carbon generation.
A look at Romania's history of low-carbon energy shows a clear trend in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Hydroelectric power saw a significant surge in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. However, it experienced minor fluctuations in the following decades, particularly in 2007, 2011, and 2012 when there were significant drops in electricity generation. More recently in 2022, hydroelectric power saw another reduction by 3.2 terawatt-hours. Simultaneously, nuclear energy generation has seen a steady rise since it was first introduced in the late 1990s, offering significant renewable increases in 1997 and 2008. It's clear that substantial and sustained investments in both nuclear and hydroelectric power have led to their strong standing in the current energy landscape of Romania.