Romania - Energy and power

Under the stimulus of industrialization, electric power generation rose from 2.1 billion kWh in 1950 to 7.6 billion in 1960, 35.1 billion in 1970, and 75.5 billion in 1986. Production in 2000 totaled 49.6 billion kWh, of which 52.6% was from fossil fuels, 36.9% from hydropower, 10.5% from nuclear power, and less than 1% from other renewable sources. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 45.7 billion kWh. Installed capacity increased from 1,863,000 kW in 1961 to 22,483,000 kW in 2001. Before the 1989 revolution, there were frequent power shortages and strict energy rationing measures.

Most thermal electric power is generated with natural gas and low-quality coal, with the latter replacing fuel oil in recent years. Two 1,300 MW nuclear reactors being built at Cernavoda, near Constanta, were scheduled to begin operation in 1985, but by early 1996 only one reactor was partially completed. As of 2002 the second unit was under construction, with completion slated for 2005. At the same time, rehabilitation of ten thermal power plants was also scheduled for completion by 2005.

As of the early 1970s, Romania was Europe's second-largest petroleum producer, next to the USSR. Oil production reached its prewar peak of 8.7 million tons in 1936 and rose to 14.5 million by 1974 (294,000 barrels per day in 1976). By 2002, oil output had declined 58% from its peak in the 1970s to 124,500 barrels per day, but Romania was still the largest oil producer in Eastern and Central Europe. Although consumption had also declined—to 180,000 barrels per day—Romania remained a net oil importer, as it had been since 1979. With a capacity of about 504,000 barrels per day, Romania is also the region's largest producer of refined petroleum products. A major fuel source is natural gas, which is associated with oil and also occurs in separate deposits in Transylvania. Output rose from 11.1 billion cu m in 1960 to 37.4 billion cu m in 1987, before falling to 14.2 billion cu m in 2000. Proven reserves of natural gas were at 100.8 billion cu m in early 2002. In addition to supplying Romania's industries, natural gas is sent by pipeline to Hungary. Coal production in 2000 totaled 32.2 million tons.

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