The district heating sector is in obvious decline in Romania, due to a combination of institutional, legal, administrative, financial and social issues. Whereas in 1989 there were 315 cities that owned a district heating network, only 61 remain in 2015, mainly in big cities. Unfortunately, the majority of these systems are confronted with severe economic issues.
Four different ministries have been responsible for the heat sector and, due to the fact that not one single ministry was responsible, it was not included in the Romanian Energy Strategy. This is a particularly urgent issue, given the importance of district heating systems for the population’s standard of living. In order to comply with the EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling, producers are now promoting new support schemes for cogeneration and renewables.
As seen in the graph below, 23% of the residential heat demand is covered by district heating, whereas the most of heat demand is covered by renewable energies, which is mostly wood.
In 2004, the predominant fuel used in Romanian district heating was natural gas, but coal also occupied a significant market share. As of 2015, district heating is almost entirely supplied through recycled heat, and approximately 92% of this generation was from combined heat and power (CHP). The fuel sources used for CHP are dominated by fossil fuels, with 55% from natural gas and 37% from coal.