FOREN 2016: A landmark event in Central and Eastern Europe
- Written by PhD Eng. Gheorghe Balan, WEC-RNC Executive Director
The main economic and energy policy makers from Romania and Central and South-Eastern European countries participated in the 13th edition of FOREN 2016 - the Regional Energy Forum in Central and Eastern Europe organized by the Romanian National Committee of World Energy Council, during 12 to 16 June 2016, at Vox Maris Grand Resort Costinesti.
With the theme ‘Secure and sustainable energy for the region’, FOREN 2016 brought together high level experts who debated upon the latest energy developments, future prospects of the electricity, oil and gas, coal, nuclear, renewables and the necessary political and economic decisions to be made for secure and sustainable energy in the region.
Welcome addresses were delivered at FOREN 2016 Opening Session held on June 12, 2016 by Victor Grigorescu – Romanian Minister of Energy, Elena Nekhaev – Programme Director, World Energy Council, Jyri Ylkanen - Policy Expert, Assistant to the Principal Adviser, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission, Acad. Cristian Hera, Vice President of the Romanian Academy, Presidents of National Authorities in Energy and Mineral Resources fields, CEOs of Romanian and foreign companies.
FOREN 2016 included a wide range of events among which: 11 important events: Regional Energy Day, two Keynote Addresses (KA), Energy Trilemma Conference, four Roundtables at Forum level (RTF), three Workshops at the Forum level (WF) and the latest achievements of companies in Romania and abroad, including an interesting technical and touristic program. Over 200 speakers of the highest level went in-depth the most topical technical issues facing today’s regional industry energy within the five technical sessions, including: Policies and national targets for integration in EU policy of energy and environment fields: Security of energy supply, energy availability, use of renewable energy, financing mechanisms; Energy markets: market versus planning, issues versus performing, the role of transmission and system operators and those of distribution on energy market, functioning of Romanian energy system in the European space; Energy efficiency: energy efficiency in industry, smart cities, conservation/ energy storage, electric mobility and infrastructure; oil and gas (conventional and unconventional); Oil and gas industry - geology and engineering reservoir, economic and safety/risk issues, technologies; Nuclear power: the CANDU reactor, new technologies for nuclear power plants; Coal and technologies for clean coal: modern methods of extraction, exploitation and storage, modern solutions for the use of fossil energy, environmental issues.
The special sessions organized within FOREN 2016 approached the following topics: Central and Eastern European Energy Union for regional integration and security of supply (Regional Energy Day); European policies to promote sustainable energy development (KA 1); Competition and trading rules in EU internal market; Impact of volatile energy prices (KA 2); Energy Trilemma and Energy Security; Smart solutions for power supply of smart cities (RTF1); Options for the fuel mix in the region based on full cycle costs analysis (RTF 2); Developments in energy transport (oil and gas); Cooperation within the region (RTF 3); Management, control and monitoring of energy quality; Aspects regarding equipment and services (RTF 4); Human Resources for Energy Systems (WF 1); Energy efficiency, energy conservation; Converting potential into reality (WF 2); Research in the energy field; Financing sustainable energy development (WF 3).
Over 700 leaders of the energy industry, government authorities, experts and researchers, regulators, prominent personalities of the academic world, investors, representatives of Romanian and foreign NGOs attended the event.
The Romanian National Committee of World Energy Council conveys its gratitude to the Romanian Academy, AOSR, ASTR, AGIR and to all companies, firms, organizations, institutes working in the energy and environment fields that participated in this flagship event in the region.
The main messages were sent to FOREN 2016 participants on: Ensuring the necessary energy for sustainable development of the economy; Increasing the used energy decoupled from carbon emissions in order to meet the EU targets regarding the industrial processes decarbonation; Development of renewables and creating the best conditions for an efficient use of the energy mix with less impact upon the environment; Increasing energy efficiency, given that Romania has significant potential for energy saving and also specialized experts; Romanian Power System interconnection with the European system for strengthening reliability and security of power supply; Training of the specialists and energy researchers with a special focus in the field of renewables, new energy storage systems, smart technologies, creating the conditions for energy security and affordability; Special attention was given to energy accessibility by providing modern energy services to everyone around the region and particularly to those in rural areas.
FOREN 2016 partners were: Electric, OPCOM, Transelectrica, ENEL, EON, CEZ Romania, Adrem, Engie, Oil Services Group, Romelectro, Romgaz Arc Brasov, Omicron, AOSR, ASRT, ENERGOBIT, Transgaz and others.
FOREN 2016 also hosted the International Workshop of Romanian Future Energy Leaders (FEL) on ‘EnerGeneration for Tomorrow’s Challenges’. Organized in a unique style, the workshop highlighted the Romanian FEL most actual problems of energy of today and tomorrow, how young energy professionals are prepared to overcome the challenges of a real change of energy paradigm, based on a solid set of values to meet the technological developments in the energy-environment field. The original elements of the Romanian FEL workshop were to stimulate and promote teamwork, networking, knowledge and communication among participants, its proactive, attractive, creative and open feature, as well as the use of a team facilitator. The topics addressed at the workshop were: geopolitics of energy sources, energy digitization, small producers and consumers (prosumers), youth and energy. Romanian FEL workshop conclusions and recommendations were summed up in a final document, called ‘Romanian FEL Declaration at FOREN 2016’, which was presented at FOREN 2016 Closing Ceremony.
FOREN messages were sent by Mr. Einari Kisel, Regional Coordinator for Europe - World Energy Council and Ms. Corina Popescu, Secretary of State - Ministry of Energy.
The Regional Energy Day took place on 14 June 2016 under the organization of the WEC/RNC and Romelectro, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy. The theme chosen this year for ‘Regional Energy Day’ was ‘Central and Eastern European energy union for regional integration and security of supply’. The event emphasised the current trends in the CEE Region and enjoyed the participation of Einari Kisel, Regional Manager for Europe of the World Energy Council (WEC), Corina Popescu, Secretary of State for Energy, Rodin Traicu, member of the Committee for Industries and Services, Chamber of Deputies, Viorel Gafita, President Romelectro, Mihkel Harm, Secretary General of WEC Estonia, Octavian Lohan, member of Transelectrica directorate and other representatives of state and private companies in the energy sector. Among the topics of discussion were: National and regional policies to meet energy requirements; National and regional policies on the development of energy transport infrastructure and their interconnectivity; Development of national and regional energy facilities to ensure security of supply; Policies on energy resources diversification; National and regional policies on nuclear, coal, gas, renewables; Environmental protection policies etc.
Concludingly, the topics debated by FOREN 2016 and their pertinent conclusions and recommendations, the institutions and specialists who attended FOREN 2016 and the congratulation messages received by the WEC Romanian National Committee from the Romanian Academy, ASTR, AGIR, INCE Romanian Academy, University of Cluj-Napoca, ANRE Moldova, Adrem Corporate, US Embassy, Electrica SA, ICPE, entitle us to believe that FOREN 2016 was a successful event.