Environment for RES / Energy Efficiency
SWOT Analysis for RES & Energy Efficiency
  • Solar energy is sustainable, safe, reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and ensures economic growth and added value.
  • Adopting a policy scenario, simultaneously with corresponding laws and regulations that could increase the interest of foreign investors.
  • Existence of actors with intense activity in the green energy economy.
  • Appropriate geographical location.
  • One of the highest wind potentials in Europe.
  • Room for growth in green certificates
  • Sudden changes in the form and the level of the State that cannot provide long-term guarantees for prices or markets.
  • Little or no transparency or flexibility in the present legislative framework.
  • High initial cost of solar systems and in particular PV (although prices are dropping every year), reliance on external markets.
  • Lack of promotion for renewable energy production.
  • Weakness in technology transfer in applied technologies.
  • Limited potential of geothermal energy.
  • Existence of large hydroelectric that make difficult the further penetration of RES
  • Not adaptation of clear policies for the reduction of energy consumption in transport sector.

  • Solutions offered by new developments and scientific discoveries in the PV area can improve the weaknesses.
  • Solar energy technologies is a rapidly growing sector for energy production, leading to increased efficiency, lower prices and increasing demand for solar installation.
  • The supply of electricity to individual sites may lead to demographic changes and reduced social costs.
  • The official support in research and development in academia and in the SMEs for applied research and technologies can eliminate weaknesses or threats.
  • Obligation for the implementation EC directive for zero-emission buildings.
  • Internal political instability and corrupt officials responsible for the implementation of the procedures.
  • Regulations or licensing procedures. as well as foreign policy and economic (financial) instability
  • Insufficient knowledge, know-how and managerial skills, as well as strong external monopoly on technology
  • Not supporting of small power systems (an individual investor has no chance to secure funding for a solar installation).
Related Programs in EEA Grants 2009-14

Chosen RES / EE Projects

Project facts:

  • Project Title: Development of Geothermal Energy to Produce Heat for Consumers and the Reinjection of Geothermal Water in Reservoirs.
  • Project Objective: Increased Renewable Energy Production.
  • Project Promoter: Municipality of Oradea.
  • Initial Project Cost: 3.908.121 .
  • Target group(s): Civil servants / Public administration staff.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

Geothermal energy is heat energy produced and stored on Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. The earth's geothermal energy comes from the original formation of the planet and from the radioactive decay of the materials (in uncertainty but perhaps roughly equal proportions). The geothermal gradient, which is the temperature difference between the planet’s core and its surface, leads to continuous thermal energy conduction in the form of heat from the core to the surface.

From the hot springs, geothermal energy has been used for bathing from Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times, but is now known for the production of electricity. Geothermal energy is cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, but is historically limited to areas near the tectonic border of the slabs. Recent technological developments have dramatically expanded the range and size of sustainable resources, especially for applications such as home heating, opening up a potential for widespread exploitation. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped deep in the earth, but these emissions are much lower per energy unit than those of fossil fuels. The Earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to meet the energy needs of mankind, but only a very small fraction can take advantage of it. Exploiting and exploring for deep resources is very costly. Forecasts for the future of geothermal energy depend on assumptions about technology, energy prices, subsidies, plate boundary movement and interest rates.

In the above context, the Municipality of Oradea has a strategy for heating defined in a master plan approved by the City Council in 2010. The project includes the restoration of heat and power plants using natural gas as a fuel, the restoration of the heat transport system and increase the uptake of geothermal energy. The project’s aim was to replace the heat produced by the CET Oradea with thermal energy produced from geothermal water.

The project resulted in an installed capacity of 2,7 MWt and 3662,80 energy produced per year and an estimated avoidance of 1130 tones CO2 per year. The direct beneficiaries of the project are the end users of 52 buildings located on the streets of “MateiBasarab, Suceava, Rimanoczy Kalman” and buildings belonging to the Sports High School. All residents of Oradea benefit from reducing pollutant emissions (dust, CO2, NOx).

The Donor Project Partner was Icelandic Geothermal Engineering Ltd. (IGE). IGE’s role was to provide technical assistance to support engineering and quality control during project implementation, and to assess the geothermal deposit characteristics of Oradea. Without the Icelandic partner and their experience on board, they would not have achieved that much. Contributions and technical knowledge of our partner have allowed us to move on to geothermal development.

Indeed, Iceland is a world leader in the use of geothermal energy. With more than 40 years of experience in the use, extraction and development of this type of energy, and with several high-level companies specializing in this field, Iceland has put geothermal energy at the forefront of its cooperation with the beneficiary countries.

Individual sub-projects:

The Municipality replaces coal with thermal energy generated by geothermal water, contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. In addition, the transition from fossil fuels to geothermal energy increases energy security by shifting to local resources and prices remain stable, offering long-term benefits to consumers. Both houses and a school in Oradea will benefit from the change of this renewable energy source.


When geothermal energy replaces fossil fuels, it reduces emissions, increases energy security by shifting to local resources and prices remain stable, offering long-term benefits to consumers. The share of the energy bill for a family with two children living in a 100-square meter apartment compared to income is ten times higher in Romania than in Iceland, taking into account heat demand difference. This is why geothermal district heating can reduce economic disparities by reducing heating costs in countries like Romania. In Oradea, in western Romania, there is great potential to increase the use of geothermal energy. With the support of Grants, the municipality replaces fossil fuels for district heating.

Additionally, bilateral relations between Iceland and the beneficiary countries are enhanced through a wide range of partnership activities. Iceland has put geothermal energy in the forefront of its cooperation with the beneficiary countries. Iceland is a world leader in the use of geothermal energy – a form of heat accessible from below the Earth’s surface. It is used to heat around nine out of ten households in Iceland. By sharing their unique know-how on the use of geothermal energy, Icelandic authorities are helping to increase the use of renewable energy sources throughout Europe. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) contribute to capacity building through the exchange of best practices. Creativity and innovation are supported by exchanges of staff and students with the participation of various artistic, educational and research establishments.


Pic. 1: Drilling in Oradea Pic. 2: Project Facilities Pic. 3: Progress of the Progress Pic. 4: Project Event Pic. 5: Project Billboard Pic. 6: Project Materials

Project facts:

  • Project Title: Geothermal Training for Romanian Professionals by the Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University in Iceland (UNU-GTP).
  • Project Objective: Increased Awareness and Education in Renewable Energy Solutions.
  • Project Promoter: University of Oradea.
  • Initial Project Cost: 250.000 .
  • Target group(s): Researchers or Scientists, Students.

A few words for the philosophy of the project:

Romania has geothermal resources of low to medium temperature in certain areas that have not been fully exploited. Geothermal resources in these areas therefore can be exploited for domestic, clean energy source that can be used for space heating, greenhouse heating, swimming centers and SPAs, aquaculture, industrial drying, and even electricity production. The use of these domestic resources can help Romania reduce its dependence on imported fuels for heating and help meet the country’s targets for reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The title of the program is “United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP)”. The UNU-GTP was founded in 1978 and is hosted by “Orkustofnun”. The 6-month training programme in Iceland has been in operation since 1979, with 583 scholars from 58 countries with a diploma, including 5 Romanians in 1993-1998. Thus, the main objectives of the project are:

  • to raise awareness of the potential of geothermal exploitation among decision makers, key staff of governmental bodies, energy companies and universities, and the media;
  • to increase basic knowledge of specific issues relevant to large groups of (25) Romanian scientists and engineers;
  • to provide in-depth knowledge of 4 Romanians - 6-month training program of the UNU-GTP.

Cooperation was necessary to achieve the outcome of the project and the results. The UNU-GTP has the international experience of organizing geothermal education events and can bring to the project the rich geothermal know-how in Iceland. Indeed, the UNU is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization based in Japan. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to the efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, growth and prosperity that are the concern of the United Nations, the Peoples and its Member States. In carrying out this mission, the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in the UN Member States, serving as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system. Through its postgraduate teaching activities, UNU contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries.

In the above context, bilateral relations have been strengthened by enhancing cooperation in the field of geothermal education and capacity building between the University of Oradea and the UNU-GTP. The wider implications of the partnership have increased dialogue and cooperation in the Romanian geothermal sector, with the result that cooperation has been extended to various stakeholders and experts from different institutions and companies. The cooperation was extended between the Romanian and Icelandic geothermal sectors through the links created by the program. The partnership strengthened the links between the University of Oradea and the UNU-GTP, which have already existed for 20 years, and can be used for future educational events in Romania.

The UNU-GTP brings expertise from the Donor Partner Country to the project, both in terms of knowledge of the various issues that need to be addressed for geothermal development as well as the implementation of short-term courses and training.

The Programme had a six-month schedule per year and was taught in English, so candidates had to be fluent in English. The programme commenced in the spring (April-October), and was divided into three phases: introductory lectures, specialized training and research project. In order to successfully complete the training programme every Fellow had to finish a project (report), which was presented orally before the closing ceremony.

Individual sub-projects:

The project included:

  • A two-day workshop for decision makers in Romania.
  • Three short courses of 5.5 days each: A) Short Course on Geothermal Surface Exploration; B) Short Course on Reservoir Assessment and Management; C) Short Course on Geothermal Utilization.
  • Six-month training at the UNU-GTP in Iceland. The beneficiaries of the project were the Romanian decision makers and the key staff of government bodies, who were aware of the potential for geothermal development, the Romanian geothermal community,
  • Romanian geothermal experts through training in Iceland, the universities involved, local communities and Romanian society as a whole.


  • Introductory lectures (5-6 weeks) - lectures, visits and excursions (2 weeks) to all the main geothermal fields under exploration and utilisation in Iceland.

    These were designed to provide knowledge and assessments for the interdependence between geothermal disciplines, from geothermal field research to exploitation. Participants had to make two written tests during the introductory lecture course. The main objective was to provide basic knowledge on most aspects of geothermal energy sources and technology, and to assess the interdependence between the different sciences required in geothermal projects, from initial exploration to implementation and use. The postgraduate student should have acquired sufficient geothermal knowledge to assess regional and international prospects and understand the potential for growth. The introductory lesson was five to six weeks and was common to all participants. Candidates take lectures in the mornings from 9-12 and usually have practice or study in the afternoons. The evaluation was done with 2 written tests with closed books. Introductory lectures responded in part to the various areas of specialization mentioned. In addition, the students were trained in the use of the latest technology and were given guidelines for the oral presentation and report writing.

  • Specialised education (5-6 weeks) - lectures, visits and excursions to provide practical training tailored to the needs of each individual.
    • Specialized education is offered:
    • Geothermal geology
    • Geophysical exploration
    • Tank mechanics and geophysical drilling
    • Chemistry of thermal fluids
    • Environmental science
    • Geothermal use
    • Drilling technology
    • Project management and finances
    • Each trainee attends only one specialized course.

    The feature of the training was to give university graduates engaged in geothermal work intensive training in their chosen areas of expertise. The trainees worked with professionals of Orkustofnun and ISOR (Iceland GeoSurvey) and other institutions in Iceland that are actively engaged in most aspects of geothermal research, exploration, and development.
    The training was designed specifically for the individual and the needs of his institution/country with the aim of helping developing countries with geothermal potential to set up expert working groups to cover most aspects of geothermal exploration and development. Priority was given to candidates from institutions where geothermal work was already under way. Upon completion of their training the participants received a UNU Certificate.

  • Research program (12 weeks) - independent work where candidates focus and work on a project that is directly related to their work at home.

    An important part of the internship was carried out in collaboration with research projects. In many cases, the candidates brought with them data from geothermal projects in their home countries, but sometimes the research projects were incorporated into projects in progress in Iceland. In these cases, the project theme was selected in relation to the circumstances in the country of origin of the individual participant.

    UNU candidates were asked to report on their individual projects. All project reports were published by the Education Program. Since 1994, the reports have been published in the annual book "Geothermal Training in Iceland" with an international issue code (ISBN 9979). Copies can be received on request. Reports are sent to former UNU candidates and to many of the top geothermal institutions in developing countries. Furthermore, full reports are available for download under publications.

    UNU candidates were also invited to present their works at a seminar open to scientists’ active in geothermal sciences.


Pic. 1: Romania Student in UNU during Graduation. Pic. 2: The Program’ Structure Pic. 3: Introductory Lectures Pic. 4: Specialized training