By Dana Tudose-Tianu

As 19 million people living in Romania wake up every morning, there’s a steep electricity bill to be paid for the “routine” activities we think of as unimportant in the big picture of a better (and smarter) management of our energy resources.  

Our breakfast coffee, brewed the classic way, uses up the same amount of natural gas as needed to supply electricity to the entire country… for an hour. 

An early shower to start the day amounts to over one billion liters of water or, specifically, the volume of Herăstrău lake. 

In Bucharest, more than one million employees travel 11 kilometers at 14 km/h every day on average.. All those who choose to drive a car to and from work, rather than use public transportation, bike or walk, are accountable for 800.000 liters of fuel and at least 500 tons of carbon dioxide. Per day. 

And if all of the 7,5 million households in the country would have and use air conditioning on a hot summer day, they would be responsible for the entire national electricity demand during the course of 2 hours.

Note: Information provided by George Constantin, Head of Communications, Future Energy Leaders Romania 

When we think of young leaders, both the business and media world seem to focus on groups that are grooming entrepreneurs, like Junior Chamber International and AIESEC, or young global policy leaders, such as the Global Shapers.

Rarely is the spotlight shone on young leaders in energy. Meeting some of them in Bucharest and learning about their accomplishments was beyond encouraging: it made me ponder how important it is to show the accomplishments of young people who follow vocational careers in fields which seem a little too technical to make the subject of popular interest, such as the energy field. 

In fact, as anyone would agree, nothing impacts the moment-to-moment quality of our lives more than energy. So one would agree that the specialists and leaders in this field should be able to have a more transparent and frequent conversation with the public.

Thus, I was happy to be invited, on a warm Saturday this past summer, to attend a presentation and walk-through of a Solar House built by EFdeN, one of the two main organizations for young leaders in energy in Romania. 

EFdeN (officially called Solar Decathlon Association Bucharest) and Future Energy Leaders Romania work together to create positive change in the field of energy in Romania by running projects that bring awareness and educate and shift people’s perceptions about what sustainable and renewable energy means. 

EFdeN is a student-founded NGO known for winning 4thplace at the Solar Decathlon Competition in Dubai, in 2018, and for building modular, energy efficient solar house prototypes. 

Future Energy Leaders (FEL) Romania was founded in 2011. Its main objectives include educating and training young people in energy to develop the skills needed for the 4th industrial revolution, increasing their degree of employability, and grooming them to take on decision-making positions in the industry.

FEL Romania’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and reduce the negative impact that energy has on the environment.

Mihai Toader-Pasti, President of FEL Romania, co-founder and general manager of EFdeN and EnergiaTa, is one of 100 young people selected this year to be a part of FEL100, a global network of young professionals in energy. 

Back to the sunny afternoon in late July, when I visited the Solar House, I can’t say how impressed I was to be given the tour by a student at the Faculty of Installations’ Engineering, the campus of which hosts the EFdeN Solar House. Our group of about 30 learned about its architecture, functionality, interior design, mechanical and electrical systems and sustainability, in a way that I was actually able to understand. 

The afternoon, organized by FEL Romania and EFdeN, included a wonderful conversation among young and senior energy leaders, gathered in the Solar House’s living room. 

The projects and accomplishments of the two organizations deserve more spotlight, and OZB extends them the promise of continued curiosity and dialogue. 

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