Solar energy potential in Romania

Solar energy potential is given by the average solar energy quantity received in horizontal plane which is estimated at approximately 1,100 kWh/m2 per annum in Romania.

Romania's solar radiation map was drawn up considering the average, multi-annual data registered by the Romanian National Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, processed and correlated with physical field observations and measurements conducted by specialized institutes. Considering the level of the registered solar energy flow, 5 geographical areas have been identified in Romania.

The area with the highest exploitation potential of solar energy is the Black Sea shore, where solar radiation intensity exceeds 1,250 kWh/m2 per annum. However, areas with a lower intensity of solar radiation may also benefit from solar energy, since passive solar systems can function efficiently in such low intensity areas too (for example the Northern Transylvania or Moldavia areas).
Solar - thermal systems' potential contribution to necessary household heat and hot water supply in Romania is estimated at approximately 1,434 thou toe per annum (60x106 GJ /year), which could cover 50% of the overall household hot water volume or 15% of the needed thermal energy for household heating purposes.
Given Romania's meteo-solar climate, a solar - thermal panel can function, within normal safety parameters, from March until October, at conversion levels ranging between 40% and 90%. Moreover, solar panels can also function efficiently in a hybrid regime with both conventional and unconventional thermal systems. In Romania, solar - thermal systems are most frequently used in individual dwellings for water heating processes.

Passive solar systems are usually incorporated in the building's envelope, most of the construction materials being conventional. In a thermal rehabilitation work and under normal conditions, the average additional cost for the embedded materials in the new building increases by maximum 20% (for renovated buildings).
Solar energy is converted into electrical energy using photovoltaic installations consisting of solar modules of different configurations and dimensions. Romania's exploitable potential for electrical energy generation by photovoltaic systems is approximately 1,200 GWh per annum.

The investment cost for photovoltaic systems has decreased gradually over the past few decades, the price of a solar module currently reaching approximately 6 $ / 1 installed Watt. The price for electrical energy generated by photovoltaic systems ranges between 25-50 cents/kWh. Therefore, photovoltaic systems are an attractive alternative for isolated consumers and for low consumption levels, considering the high price of connecting to the National Electrical Grid.