Romania: Wien Energie investments in small hpps struggling for survive due to the blocked market

, SEE Energy News

Small renewable energy producers can enter into insolvency or bankruptcy within six months or a year due to high taxes, low price of electricity and blocking the green certificate market, says the head of the company Vienna Energy natural sources of the Austrian group Wien Energy.

“In six months – a year small producers will become insolvent or bankrupt. Many small producers have invested money in banks, now banks will want their money back ” , said Dan Prodan , managing director of the Vienna Energy natural sources department to the Romanian medias.
The company bought in 2008 from the state-owned electricity producer Hidroelectrica small hpps in value of 35 million euros. After the acquisition, the company has developed a five-year program to modernize units, worth 15 million euros.

“If energy prices are very low, if the green certificates are in excess, they (small renewable energy producers ) have problems to pay rates on banks. Pole tax, reducing by 85% the number of green certificates for large electricity consumers and low price are key factors ” , said Prodan.
According to Prodan, the company is unable to sell green certificates it receives for electricity produced in small hydro, because the market is locked, all great consumers is pending approval by the EC.

“This market cannot survive without green certificates. Market trading of green certificates is blocked by reduction plan by up to 85% of certificates for companies. There are industrial consumers who have not reached the mandatory green certificates, but nobody says Prodan.
Vienna Energy natural sources recorded turnover last year of 5 million euro, almost double compared to 2012, and went on profit of 1.4MEUR.
The company estimates that this year will produce 50,000 MWh of electricity by 19% to 42,000 MWh last year following a good hydrological year.

According to Prodan, Vienna Natural Energy Force paid 500,000 euros this year in special tax account.

“The current context does not allow us to do other investments. Small hydropower that Hidroelectrica wants to sell are interesting, but in this economic climate is hard to make investments ” , said Prodan.

Vienna Natural Energy Force is part of the Austrian Wien Energie, which supplies electricity the city of Vienna and the neighbouring towns. Wien Energie recorded turnover last year of 2.94 billion euros.