DIVERSIFICATION IS THE KEY TREND IN THE ENERGY SECTOR (INTERVIEW WITH ANDREI BUCUR, MET ROMANIA ENERGY) / ENERGYNOMICS.RO


17.11.2018
Dear Mr. Andrei Bucur, MET Romania Energy is known as one of the most dynamic suppliers of electricity and natural gas in Romania in recent years, mainly as a result of the two acquisitions it has made – Repower (2017) and RWE (2018). But 2018 also came with an emphasis on including in portfolio a full range of services. Why did you decide what seems to be getting out from the comfort zone?

Thank you for the comments on MET positioning on the Romanian market!

We believe that the development of services in the area of innovation and technology is absolutely necessary! Changes in the marketplace and the emergence of new technology push us to make serious advances in this direction, taking into account the needs of our customers and the new business directions they enroll in and to which we need to respond with support and viable solutions.

What are the categories of services that you consider as the most useful for potential beneficiaries and what is the profile of these beneficiaries?

For years now, we have been following earnestly the needs of our customers and the trends of the coming years. Some of our initiatives are in the pioneering area, and only the future will confirm if we were right.

The directions we have advanced in are in the area of efficiency, e-mobility and safety. These include smart metering systems through IoT technology going up to monitoring the circuits. Here we look at the utilities sector: water, gas, electricity.

Mobility is advancing very fast, and we have been promoting this area for almost two years now. Of course, it is clear that current investments will not be recovered immediately, but at this moment every step is important. That’s why we chose to invest in building an AC and DC charging station that includes a number of basic features such as authentication, confirmation of the status of the station, pay by card, etc.

Another important directions are the Hybrid photovoltaic systems with storage source, and also the cogeneration plants. We believe that these areas have an immediate potential, given the current technology and why not, the possibility of reducing CO2 emissions by using green technologies.

The safety field is linked to the green electricity generation systems, which can be supplemented with a series of sensors and surveillance cameras that can work in difficult situations or prevent undesirable situations.

These are some of the directions we have developed our portfolio, but we also contemplating on innovative applications and systems to help our customers.

Is the market ready for this type of integrated approach which includes diversified services? What is the hurdle you’ve hit most often this year?

First of all, I think the market should analyze more seriously these directions. In most European countries, such solutions are successfully used already.

There are many things we have to do. As service providers, we are facing a lack of information among our end customers and for this reason it is rather difficult for a positive decision to be taken or it is postponed very much.

We are pioneers in the field through our efforts to convince our customers that technologies come in their advantage, and that our investments in the systems and solutions we propose are important for their work.

Which of these services associated with energy supply do you think has the best development potential in 2019 and in the years to come?

I believe that all of the above mentioned services have good potential in the years to come, but if I were to make a ranking, I would put the power generation systems with photovoltaic panels first, especially in the context of the [authorities]project for prosumers. On the second, I think it is the mobility area – e-car charging stations, and then come storage, energy efficiency and safety.

How do you make sure you have the human and technical resources you need to provide these services?

All of our services are key-turn solution. This means that we do everything needed, from design, to commissioning and maintenance. This is a tremendous advantage that customers have when contracting a service from MET Romania Energy.

Before launching a service on the market, we make sure that our teams and internal tests are validated and their optimal implementation can be achieved. Sure, as with any new technology, some adjustments may be made along the way, but this is normal. Think about the software upgrades for mobile phones; this happens quite frequently for reaching optimal performance.

The cost issue is always the most important… Given that the price of energy has increased and is likely to continue to grow, how can a potential customer be persuaded to invest yet other amounts in the services you are talking about?

I am glad you asked this question because it addresses a real and extremely important topic, both for the industrial area and for the households.

It is very important to think about the next years and try to anticipate certain trends. Lately, energy prices (gas and electricity) have increased. We cannot risk and hope that they will decrease. We have no argument in this respect, and if we look at the trends in recent years, we clearly see that it always meant the prices raised.

Applying efficient technologies and systems will help us to suffer the least impact because of price increases and thus have an as good as possible cost control. The cost of applying innovative solutions differs from case to case. Some costs can be absorbed and the return comes on a short and medium term, while not applying them, for sure will have major effects to the detriment of the customer.

There are many forms of financing, which can facilitate purchasing energy solutions, or special loans offered by different banks.

At this point, I do not think that price is an obstacle, but rather the lack of correct information and why not, a long delay in taking a decision. All this translates into increased medium and long-term costs.

However, we are confident that through sustained communication and through correct and timely information, customers will begin to become aware of and realize the implications of the decisions they take, or not.

We, MET Romania Energy, will continue to invest in solutions and in information campaigns for our customers so that they can take the best decision for them.

 

17.11.2018 · ROMANIA