Analysis: NRRP investments for energy, misdirected to environmentally harmful projects

Categorie: Public policies and measures for the energy transition Data postare: 29 June 2021

An analysis of Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, conducted by Bankwatch Romania and Declic, with the support of independent experts, reveals that NRRP finances only 3.4% of renewable energy investments undertaken by Romania by 2030.

Declic and Bankwatch sent to the European Commission and the Government of Romania the conclusions of the analysis, which shows that only a quarter of the projects in the energy chapter that can be financed through the NRRP are actually green. The remaining 75% are investments in projects that contribute to climate change.

Therefore, the environmental organizations are asking Brussels officials and the Romanian Executive to redirect funds to truly green energy, in line with the European Union’s climate targets.

The analysis was conducted with the support of researchers Sorin Cebotari and Andrei David Korberg.

With these investment proposals, Romania will not achieve its emission reduction targets until 2030. The use of gas of any kind, either natural gas or hydrogen obtained from fossil fuels, for the residential sector is one of the most inefficient, expensive and unsustainable methods to heat homes, said Roxana Pencea-Bradatan, Coordinator of Declic campaigns.

The major investments provided by the NRRP are directed towards fossil gas projects, although the Minister of European Investments and Projects, Cristian Ghinea, has publicly assumed that gas will not be part of the NRRP. Contrary to public statements, the document directs only 3.4% of the funds to renewable investments undertaken by Romania by 2030.

Projects to which the Government distributes money do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. Currently, this sector is the most important source of greenhouse gas emissions in Romania, generating 66% of the total. In fact, the Plan itself mentions that “under the conditions of the current energy mix, even with the targets in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Romania will not reach its emission reduction targets for 2030”.

Priority measures should focus on solutions that can be applied immediately and that generate real carbon savings, such as the energy efficiency of buildings, electricity from renewables and heating using electrification from renewable energy sources. Obtaining hydrogen from fossil fuels is a false solution for the energy transition, and the use of hydrogen by household consumers is an under-explored and inefficient option today, said Laura Nazare, Energy Transition Campaign Coordinator at Bankwatch Romania.

Experts Sorin Cebotari, Senior Research Manager at, assistant researcher at Babeș-Bolyai University, and Andrei David Korberg, assistant researcher at Aalborg University, explain in detail in the analysis why the financing of gas-hydrogen networks is just a utopian story for the present times.

Regarding coal, although the Plan estimates that it will be phased out by 2032, there are no financial allocations to replace it and support the communities affected by this process, while 10 of the total EUR 17.5 billion in the European Just Transitional Fund will be granted through the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.

The analysis is part of the project “Pragmatic approach of the environmental, economic, social and legal challenges of the energy transition” implemented by Bankwatch Romania Association in partnership with the 2Celsius, with the financial support of Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to actively involve civil society in the development of long-term public policies to decarbonise the energy sector, thus contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement.


The full analysis can be downloaded here.

About Bankwatch Romania

Bankwatch Romania is a NGO established in 2012, whose purpose is to prevent the negative environmental and social impact of public and private projects and to promote sustainable alternatives and public participation in decision making. The main area of activity is pollution reduction in the energy sector, with an emphasis on decreasing the use of fossil fuels.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania

The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania ars to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to