The Romanian Association for Biomass and Biogas (ARBIO) was launched and proposes national strategy for biomass and biogas.
Biomass is a solution for Romania’s problems related to the environment, cogeneration, jobs, energy independence, and infrastructure. In this context, The Romanian Association for Biomass and Biogas (ARBIO) was launched on Wednesday with a conference attended by the ministers of agriculture – Daniel Constantin, environment – Attila Korodi, and European funds – Eugen Teodorovici; also attending were minister delegate for waters, forests and fisheries Doina Pana, Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) vice president Emil Calota, prime minister’s counsellor for energy Dan Gheorghiu, high representative of the government for economic and diplomatic projects Mircea Geoană, and European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) chairman Gustav Melin.
ARBIO is a member of AEBIOM and of the European Biogas Association (EBA), and intends to be the voice of this industry in Romania, covering biomass, biogas, waste-to-energy, and geothermal energy.
‘At first, we regarded biomass just as an investment; this was a mistake, however, as it is more than that. (…) We will ask the government to prepare a national strategy for biomass and biogas. There are funds of more than EUR 400 million available for our sector, therefore we shall forward concrete proposals for the development of this field’ ARBIO’s chairman Ilias Papageorgiadis said.
In turn, the Minister of Agriculture has stated that Romania has great potential for energy and biomass production, particularly in the area of agricultural waste. In this respect, he gave a breakdown of the national energy potential from biomass, namely 15.5 percent in forestry residues and firewood, 6.4 percent in wood and sawdust waste and other wood residues, 7.7 percent in biogas, urban waste and household residues, and the most significant percentage – 63.2 percent – in agricultural waste from grains, corn stalks, plant debris, grapevines, and others.
‘Pole’ tax applied differently in agriculture
The ‘pole’ tax could be modified in the upcoming period so as to be applied differently in the agricultural sector, Daniel Constantin, Minister of Agriculture, has said, adding that he had a discussion on this topic with Finance Minister Ioana Petrescu. “(…) Certain areas should not be included in this category. For instance, I referred to platforms, fences, and investments made at farm level. The carrying amount for some of these, such as old silos, is much higher than at the time of the investment. Because they have probably not been included in the inventory yet, the tax would be very high,” Daniel Constantin explained. He believes the application of the ‘pole’ tax in the agricultural field could seriously damage its profitability.
Electricity, cheaper from July
The regulated electricity price will decrease as of July 2014, after the component of green certificates has been paid twice by end-consumers for six months, said the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) Vice President Emil Calota at the press conference. Asked whether the price would be significant, he said that a final decision on the percentage of the price cut would be taken in the meeting of the Regulatory Committee in the coming period. The ANRE conducts an assessment and regulates twice a year, Calota informed. He denied answering who is guilty of billing twice the green certificates from September 2012 to July 2013.
Calota added that there were several figures in the press, because at the same time with regulating the impact of green certificates, they also had to regulate the cost of the regulated energy that suppliers had to buy from more expensive sources in times when Hidroelectrica was in force majeure situation. In his opinion, the bills should be simplified so that they contain relevant information for consumers. Electricity distribution and supply company Electrica alone additionally pocketed, through the double charging of green certificates, the amount of RON 50 million, which it is expected to return it to consumers, according to the stock listing prospectus of the company.