Romania’s renewable capacities exceed 4,400MW by January 2014

Newsroom 05/03/2014 | 13:30

The country’s incentivized renewable capacities reached 4,412 MW by January 2014, on the back of soaring investments in wind and solar capacities, although changes in the legal framework have put heavy brakes on new investments.

According to grid operator Transelectrica, the wind sector had 2.704MW, while the photovoltaic sector has grown to 1,077MW. The hydroelectricity sector had 536MW, while biomass edged close to 100MW.

The renewable sector has grown pretty much from scratch in the last five years, attracting EUR 5 billion in direct investments, based on a green certificate support scheme, which has been vetted by the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.

The biggest investments were made by large foreign utilities including Czech utility CEZ, Austrian energy company Verbund, and Italy’s utility Enel.

However, the government changed last summer the support scheme, by deferring some green certificates through to 2017-2020. Authorities argued the massive developments in the renewable sector would impact the bills of households and big industry, which pay for the green certificates.

In addition, authorities decided this year to cut the incentives for new projects coming online, which are deemed over-compensated. For instance, solar projects will receive only three certificates, while in wind the number of certificates will be cut by 0.5 certificates through to 2017 and 0.25 certificates from 2018.

At present, wind producers receive two certificates, although one of them has been deferred, which is generating a loss of 30 percent for each MW they feed into the grid.

In small, hydro the number of certificates has been cut by 0.7 to 2.3 certificates.

The incentives are granted for 15 years according to the renewable law.

Ovidiu Posirca

 

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