Romania: EC approved amendments to renewables law

, SEE Energy News

The European Commission (EC) adopted a decision in which it approves changes to the green certificates support scheme for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) in Romania, stating that the amendments are in line with the EC’s rules regarding the state aid.

However, smaller RES producers in Romania consider that these amendments are not favorable and the Association of renewable energy producers in Romania (PATRES) stated that these changes will favor only large international companies in the wind energy sector, but will also bankrupt the small and medium-size RES producers, especially those in the photovoltaic energy sector.

According to the draft law, which was recently published by the Ministry after the public debate, wind energy producers will continue to get one green certificate instead of two for each MWh of electricity produced until March 2017, while solar energy producers will get two green certificates instead of four until the end of 2024. The Law from 2008 stipulated that wind energy producers should get two green certificates and solar energy producers four green certificates for each MWh of electricity they produce.

The support was first cut in half by the previous Government in 2013. This reduced scheme was supposed to be in force until the end of 2016, after which RES producers should continue to receive full amount of green certificates plus the certificates they did not receive in the past three and a half years.

The situation in the Romanian renewables sector has not been bright in the past few years, due to which the country has dropped out of the top 40 countries for investments in green energy projects, according to this year’s Ernst & Young (EY) edition of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). According to data by the Romanian electricity transmission system operator Transelectrica, total installed capacity in renewable energy in Romania has reached 4,698 MW at the end of August 2016. The installed capacity has significantly decreased from 5,142 MW recorded at the end of 2015.