Romania’s big industry attacks renewable producers’ ‘privileges’

Newsroom 22/04/2013 | 13:29

The Initiative Group for establishing of the Association of the Big Industrial Energy Consumers (ABIEC) warned the attempts of the Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA) to include renewable energy in the regulated market will lead to an increase in energy prices, which may eventually see major energy consumers wane down or close their local operations.

ABIEC, which has aluminum producer Alro Slatina and steel mill ArcelorMittal Galati among its members, argues that wind producers want to stick to their privileges, by maintaining the price and number of green certificates and seeking to sell their output on the regulated market at fixed prices.

“By invoking a hypothetical reduction in electricity price for the captive consumers, RWEA aims at keeping all privileges for the green energy producers, a measure that would actually increase the price of energy for the population and for all other consumers and may also jeopardize the security of the national energy system,” said ABIEC in a statement.

The association said the inconsistent supply from wind producers pressures prices, as coal-fired plants have to kick in to fill the gap in demand.

For instance, the wind output in the afternoon of April 16 was close to 1,800MW, when the electricity consumption was low. Next morning, Romania registered a peak in consumption, but the wind output fell to 816MW.

On the backdrop of unpredictable wind output, the bills of households or small consumers will remain the same or increase, depending on the weather conditions, said ABIEC.

The wind sector has soared in the past four years, growing to over 2,000MW of incentivized capacities by March, according to grid operator Transelectrica. At present, the government plans to cut the support scheme in a move to rein in energy prices. Leaving the number of green certificates unchanged would run a cost of EUR 1 billion in 2014 for consumers, said recently, Constantin Nita, delegate-minister for energy.

Ovidiu Posirca

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