The energy transition requires a ground-up approach. To move from a fossil fuel dominated energy system to one based on renewables and sustainable energy production requires community involvement. This week we talk with Alin Tanase, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Romania.

You may ask why Romania? If the energy transition is going to happen – and be a success, it has face the reality of a country like Romania. From the EU perspective, Romania is receiving funds from the EU’s Just Transition Mechanism. From the US side, it appears a good country to foster new small scale nuclear power reactors. And for Europe’s gas security, there are offshore deposits in the Black Sea that still can be tapped. In addition, it has Europe’s largest onshore wind farm with even more renewable energy potential still to be harvested. It short, it is a microcosm of energy complexity that other countries face. Nonetheless, the energy transition is stagnating.


So on one hand, Romania has a lot going for it, on the other, it has huge government and social challenges that make the energy transition falter. At the end of this episode you’ll gain a greater understanding of the challenges the country faces and an in-depth understanding of one person who is working hard to move Romania forward in the energy transition. As you’ll hear from Alin, fossil fuels are in his family and dominated the city where he grew up. He’s experienced first-hand the pollution of gas and oil and why the future is not fossil fuels. This episode is exciting to listen to learn about Alin, from both his own personal story and to learn about the struggles in Romania’s energy transition.

Before moving on, we have big news this week – We are launching the Repowering Leadership in European Energy and Food Summer School. This is done with the Central European University, Summer University program and with the Open Society University Network. You can find a link to the call for applications in the show notes.

A final note, this interview was done for my current role as an Open Society University Network, Senior Fellow at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs. The funding was generously provided to produce the podcasts until the end of 2022. And the funding was provided to travel to interview a range of experts on how the current energy crisis is impacting different countries around Europe.

The intent of the My Energy 2050 podcast is to spread the knowledge about how the energy system can assist our transition towards a greener future. The content of each episode is great for teaching, research and identifying how you can assist this energy transition.

AI Episode Transcript


The energy transition requires a ground-up approach.


Growing up in the oil and gas industry.


What are the benefits of doing more than just reducing emissions?


How does the current energy crisis in Romania impact the energy transition?


The missteps of the Romanian government in the energy sector.


What’s the future of renewables in Romania?


What is the future of nuclear power in Romania?


What will the future of the energy sector look like in Romania?

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Dr. Michael LaBelle is an associate professor at Central European University in the Department of Environmental Sciences. He produces the My Energy 2050 podcast to change how we communicate and improve the energy transition.