About the Summit

Aspen Energy Summit, organized under the aegis of Aspen Institute Romania’s Energy and Sustainability Program, was created to explore strategic issues at the intersection of energy, economy, geopolitics and security. A select group of international leaders, national decision-makers, public policy experts and representatives of academia gather for an open discussion of topics of national and regional importance. These discussions aim to encourage new collaborations and trans-disciplinary thinking.

The 4th edition of the Aspen Energy Summit will be held within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe and will discuss topics related to the Green Deal and the green transition, looking at perspectives for Romania, its region, the EU and transatlantic cooperation when it comes to topics such as:

  • Main economic opportunities provided by the green transition, possibilities for investments and means of financing.
  • Implications for state-owned companies and the private sector: how to mitigate risks.
  • The geopolitical context and energy security, including perspectives for transition fuels and the relationship with key global powers.
  • Research and development: towards an innovation-based model in the energy sector.

Organizer: Aspen Institute Romania
Institutional Partners: Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Commission Representation in Romania
Main Sponsors: Transgaz, Premier Energy, Electroalfa, ENEL
Sponsors: Nuclearelectrica, MOL, Rompetrol, Socar
Partners: Enevo, Reveal Marketing Research, Ecovis Ciurtin
Media Partners: AGERPRES, Energy Industry Review

Photo album

About Aspen Energy and Sustainability Program

Aspen Institute Romania’s Energy and Sustainability Program represents an active and prominent convener of non-partisan policy dialogue and a neutral forum focused on key energy topics and ways of advancing environmental sustainability in a technological world. The Program’s mission is to discuss the enduring questions about society and economic opportunities, to prompt a new thinking among diverse participants through thought-provoking conversations about sustainable energy policies.

The Aspen Energy & Sustainability Program brings together a community comprising multiple stakeholders from relevant fields, including key decision-makers, representatives of the private sector, energy experts and non-governmental sectors. Based on the Aspen Method, our program provides an exceptional platform for reflection, aiming to reach consensus on concrete policy recommendations for Romanian and regional energy policies. By engaging with public decision-makers from the start of the reflection process, in an informal and informed dialogue, mutual ownership of our policy recommendations is fostered.

White Paper – Aspen Energy & Sustainability Program 2021



10:00 – 10:30 Event Opening & Keynote Speeches

  • Alexandra Gătej – Vice President, Aspen Institute Romania
  • Virgil Popescu – Minister of Energy, Government of Romania
  • Matthew G. Boyse – Chargé d’Affaires ad-interim, U.S. Embassy in Romania

10.30 – 11.30 Panel I: The green transition: capitalizing on opportunities, mitigating risks
The green transition represents a clear shift towards new means of production and consumption, affecting the way in which we live and work as citizens, employees, and consumers. It provides important economic opportunities and possibilities for investments, but at the same time this new economic model entails risks for stakeholders in our economies and societies. What are the perspectives at a national, regional, and EU level and what does this mean from the perspective of energy security and the relationship with global powers?

  • Cristian Buşoi – Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament
  • Tudor Constantinescu – Principal Adviser to the Director General, DG Energy, European Commission
  • Dan Drăgan – Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy
  • Alessio Menegazzo – Head of Sustainability and Institutional Affairs, Enel Romania

Moderator: Cristian Pîrvulescu – Director, Aspen Energy & Sustainability Program; CEO, Enevo Group

11.30 – 12.15 Panel II: The Green Deal and implications for utilities
The drive to decarbonize the economy holding significant implications for the way we produce energy, encouraging private investment in new infrastructure and technologies while at the same time paving the way for disruption and new market players. The energy and utilities industry has already started to change its business models, focusing on green energy generation and storage and the digitalization of grids. This panel discusses implications for utilities companies and regulatory aspects related to the aims of the Green Deal.

  • Christian Zinglersen – Director, European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)
  • Zoltan Nagy-Bege – Vicepresident, ANRE
  • Cosmin Ghiţă – CEO, Nuclearelectrica

Moderator: Robert Lupițu – Editor in Chief, Calea Europeană

12.15 – 12.30 Coffee break

12.30 – 13.30 Panel III: Research and development: towards an innovation-based model in the energy sector
The green transition will not be possible without massive investments in research and development allowing for new technologies to enter the market. Both the private and public sector should view energy R&D as a priority in light of its impact on economic prosperity, environmental quality, and energy security, and thus fund it accordingly. This panel discusses the importance of R&D at an EU and national level and looks at ways in which an innovation-based model in the energy sector could be funded.

  • Sándor Bende – Chair, Committee for Industries and Services, Chamber of Deputies
  • Răzvan Nicolescu – Member of the Governing Board, European Institute of Innovation and Technology
  • Bogdan Chirițoiu – President, Competition Council of Romania
  • Gheorghe Ciubotaru – President of the Board, Electroalfa Group
  • Mehmet Öğütçü – CEO, Global Resources Partnership

Moderator: Ana Cătăuță – Member of the Committee for Industries, Chamber of Deputies, Romanian Parliament