Corina Popescu, state secretary at the Ministry of Energy, has stated that the government is currently considering some measures to help the ailing renewable sector, which is facing losses after the changes in the incentives scheme.
One of the measures that is currently discussed with the Ministry of Finance refers to an extension of the validity of the green certificates issued to renewable producers. At present, the certificate is valid for one year.
Popescu stated that the officials are looking to change the law, so that the green certificates are taxed on sale not on registration, which is the case right now.
“Also the extension of the validity of the green certificates, we will have to discuss it with the European Commission, which will surely ask us what we really want: ‘you had a validity limit, then you reduced it, now you are returning to “no limit”? This would help the producers to sell because at this moment the green certificates are starting to get cancelled. The cancellation of this limit has to be negotiated with the EC in parallel to a potential extension of the scheme, as there are a lot of (investors e.n) that have negotiated loans with banks, they could renegotiate a relaxation of loans or to extend their payment period. They can’t do this right now because the scheme has a limited enforcement period”, said Popescu, in an interview for investenergy.ro.
The state secretary added this move runs the risk of increasing the burden of electricity costs for individuals and small businesses, as the large consumers are already enrolled in an exemption scheme on the acquisition of green certificates.
The new price limits for the trading of green certificates have been set at EUR 29.3 (floor price) and EUR 59.8 (ceiling price), according to an announcement published in the Official Gazette on February 19.
Renewable producers generate revenue by selling electricity and the green certificates. The support scheme runs for 15 years.
Romania’s renewable installations reached a total capacity of 4,400MW in 2015, up 2.9 percent on 2014.