E.ON Romania is the platform company that supports and coordinates the operations of E.ON Group in the energy sector in Romania. The company handles distribution, supply as well as digital and e-mobility solutions.
Through Delgaz Grid, you handle distribution for 20 counties in the Northern area of the country. What can you tell us about the current state of the infrastructure in the region and investments you have planned for the near future?
Last year the total investments of Delgaz Grid, part of the E.ON Group in Romania, amounted to approximately €105 million, the highest since we entered this market. As in every year, most investments targeted the modernization of the gas and electricity grids. As a result of our investments, we already have visible improvement at level of the performance indicators of the networks, but further investment efforts are needed.
We estimate that the annual investment budgets for the next few years will come out at a similar level (around €100 million/year) if no other major changes crop up. Since entering the Romanian market, we have invested around €1.6 billion (2005-2018, inclusively). Over 7,500 km of natural gas grid were modernized, alongside with around 6,000 km of power grid.
NEXT-E project, which aims to develop a pan-European network of electric vehicle charging stations, is currently underway. What progress has been made so far and how do you expect this sector to evolve in Romania in the coming few years?
Since we are talking about electric mobility, we would like to promote an energy world which is powered by electric cars, this being the reason why we got involved in the NEXT-E project. Specifically, 40 fast charge stations will be installed in Romania, of which 19 by E.ON and 21 by MOL Romania.
Within E.ON group we are running several European projects whereby we foster the development of large scale use of electric vehicles, which is one of the least polluting and most sustainable means of transport. In this context, it is essential that we offer easy access to charging stations to electric vehicles owners. At the same time, it is an opportunity for E.ON to offer new products and services whereby we can meet the wishes and needs of our customers.
In the current context of the energy world, ever more characterized by decentralized generation from renewable sources, smart grids, digitalization etc., we can no longer be just an energy supplier/ distributor. Climate policy in the future will focus not on the question of “if” abundant renewable electricity can be produced, but rather “how” it can be integrated into the system.
You have recently finalized the first smart street lighting project in Romania. Can you explain what role you expect digitalization to play within E.ON Romania going forward?
Indeed, the first smart village project in Romania was implemented last year, in the commune of Frumuseni, Arad county. Several efficiencies increase works have been performed on the inside lighting systems in local public administration buildings. The goals going forward have in mind the installation of PV panels to ensure the necessary volumes of electric power for several buildings belonging to local public administrations. We are also considering the extension of the smart village concept at national level.
The connection between the energy sector and technology, innovation, digitalization is tighter and tighter. As far as we are concerned, digitalization and innovation in general are clear and compulsory answers for the future. Digitalization means services that bring simplicity, time saving, mobility, opening, easiness and clarity in the relationship with our over three million customers.
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