The 1st energy studies Think-Tank in Romania.

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Eugenia Gusilov

Tracking Romania’s cross-border cooperation in gas | Brief | 10/18/2018

Romania’s gas infrastructure development has received significant attention since the discoveries of natural gas in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea, but the missing links in gas interconnectivity with its neighboring continue to affect the region. Thanks largely to European Union support (EUR 179 million grant), in 2018 construction work has finally started on BRUA pipeline. In 2016, the Giurgiu-Ruse gas interconnector between Romania and Bulgaria was completed (3 years behind schedule). Romania’s huge delay in construction of gas infrastructure has even triggered an investigation from the European Commission in June 2017. So, how much of this is due to administrative bottlenecks, real technical issues, political interference, lack of financing, or misguided priorities?

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Eugenia Gusilov

Romania’s Black Sea gas: when geologic bonanza meets above ground chaos | OP-ED | 09/20/2018

The story of Romania’s offshore gas reserves has received significant attention since 2012, the year of the biggest discovery in the Romanian segment of the Black Sea. However, this success found Romania quite unprepared for a new hydrocarbon boon. Successive governments dragged their feet on the key issue of mineral resource taxation, time was wasted, while a coherent government policy on the stewardship of Romania’s mineral resources has yet to be formulated. The text captures in broad strokes some of the main underlying causes that lead to the situation in which Romania finds itself today, with FIDs in the Black Sea under threat of not being taken right before the Black Sea gas production should start. Who is to blame?

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Eugenia Gusilov

Insights from NATO Engages – the Brussels Summit Dialogue | OP-ED | 07/25/2018

This July I attended “NATO Engages – the Brussels Summit Dialogue” – the official outreach event of the NATO Summit. Co-located and taking place at the same time (July 11-12) as the actual NATO Summit, the event was organized by Atlantic Council, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Munich Security Conference (MSC), Women in International Security (WIIS) in Brussels, in partnership with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division. A powerhouse event with two full days of intellectually stimulating discussions on the current and future challenges for the Alliance, the event featured a fantastic line-up of speakers ranging from presidents, prime ministers, NATO officials, CEOs, think tank, military and government analysts.

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George Visan

Romania’s Naval Ambitions – An analysis of current acquisition programs | Special report | 07/19/2018

Faced with a growing Russian military threat in the Black Sea, Romania has decided to increase its defense spending and modernize is military capabilities. In 2017 Romania began an ambitious ten year re-armament program worth € 8.9 billion, part of the pledge made to its NATO partners to spend 2% of GDP on defense. This analysis takes a look at the naval refurbishment program that Romania will undertake in 2017-2026. It examines the components of the naval modernization program from the perspective of the capabilities they will offer to the Romanian Naval Forces and of how they compare with current and future naval threats in the Black Sea. While the level of ambition reflected in these programs varies a lot, the current acquisitions will reinforce the deterrence value of Romania’s fleet.

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Eugenia Gusilov

RES development strategy in Romania and Bulgaria | Policy Brief | 06/25/2018

Already in 2014, overall Renewable Energy Sources (RES) use was 26% in Romania and 18% in Bulgaria, more than their respective targets for 2020 (24% - Romania, 16% - Bulgaria). According to the 3rd RES Progress Reports, in Romania RES have the biggest use in electricity production (44% in 2014), followed by heating & cooling (28%) and the lowest use in transportation (4.5%). In Bulgaria, RES have the largest share in H&C (28%), followed by power generation (18.9%) and transportation (5.3%). Both countries have achieved their 2020 targets of RES in final energy consumption ahead of time. During the period 2013–2014, nor Romania nor Bulgaria used cooperation mechanisms such as statistical transfers, joint projects and joint support schemes (no statistical RES transfers to or from other EU Members States).

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Eugenia Gusilov

Capacity market vs. energy-only market. The case of Romania | Policy Analysis | 03/15/2018

A capacity mechanism creates a two commodities market: one for energy and one for availability of energy. Romania’s electricity market was designed as a very competitive energy-only market. Officially Romania does not have a capacity mechanism notified to or approved by the European Commission. However, in 2013, before the adoption of the new Environmental and Energy State Aid Guidelines (EEAG) - which came in effect on July 1, 2014, the Romanian government adopted Government Decree 138 which was advocated as a Capacity Mechanism. Since it pre-dated the adoption of the EEAG in 2014, it hasn’t been notified to the European Commission. Consequently, since mid-April 2013 until December 2017, in Romania there was a measure in place that functioned as a Capacity Mechanism, but was in effect a masked state aid to coal power plants granted without public consultation and an adequacy assessment, in short - a support scheme which managed to stay under the radar of the European Commission. Is there a real need for a capacity mechanism in Romania? Only an in-depth adequacy assessment can answer the question.

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Eugenia Gusilov

Research and innovation in Romania – a land of two realities | OP-ED | 02/16/2018

At EU level, Romania is a junior in innovation. Insufficient funding aside, a more damaging factor are the self-created domestic obstacles, by which legitimate research is over-shadowed and/or squeezed out by weak projects draining a significant part of the national funds. Given the inefficiencies of national funding mechanisms, the main driver of innovation (in all sectors) are the European policies and funds. There are a few high-prestige R&D projects (such as the ELI-NP - Romania’s star public research project) in what otherwise could be described as a sea of yet-to-be-fulfilled potential. There could be so many more high value-added projects, if only Romania cleaned up house and enforced strict integrity and accountability rules in its academic and research establishment. That means not only pressing ahead with serious research, but calling out the impostors and a zero tolerance towards plagiarism.

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Eugenia Gusilov

Energy Research, Development and Innovation in Romania | Research paper | 12/01/2017

Romania ranks last in EU innovation. One of the reasons is that, at national level, the approach to innovation is still top-down with few private sector projects. When they exist, such projects are the exception, not the rule. Big projects grab attention and are meant to compensate for the overall weakness in this area. SMEs in Romania are having a hard time because of scarce public funding and strong competition from an oversized network of state R&D institutes. With the exception of EU policies and programs, public funding is still backward looking (geared towards keeping alive the communist-era research institutes irrespective of the quality of research they produce). However, availability of European funding and partnerships with European entities provide hope for Romania’s R&D. While still a junior in European innovation, Romania does have a few success stories that are presented in the last section of this paper which are indicative of the huge potential and significant room for growth going forward.

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Teodor Chirica

Brexatom – anxiety and ramifications | Research paper | 08/14/2017

This paper examines the implications of Brexit on the nuclear industry, in particular the meaning and manifold consequences of Brexatom (a term which designates Britain’s withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty), since a less known fact is that triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty also means a withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty. The paper explains the views and positions of the key stakeholders (British nuclear industry, MPs, scientists, think tank experts, FORATOM) and outlines the importance of transitional arrangements until a successor framework is put in place, especially if the United Kingdom will not be seeking an associate membe......

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Eugenia Gusilov

Clean Energy for All Europeans – a view from Romania on the new governance Regulation | Policy Analysis | 07/11/2017

The proposed Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union is part of the legislative package “Clean Energy for All Europeans” presented by the European Commission (EC) on November 30, 2016. The Governance Regulation (as the entire package) has to do with the EU 2030 Climate and Energy framework targets, and acts as a “holding” structure to ensure policy alignment on commitments that the EU has made under the Paris Agreement. These commitments have been made by the EU as a whole, but their implementa...

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