BUSINESS

Green certificate allotment would make electricity 2.5 pc more expensive

At circa EUR 10 bln, Romania has the largest renewable energy support scheme, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Environment.

The price of electricity charged to end-consumers will go up nearly 2.5 pc as of January 1, 2012, when the ordinance will come into effect on allotments of green certificates for electric power production, Maria Manicuta, representative of the National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE), told a renewable energy seminar.

In his turn, Mircea Cotosman, an environmental adviser  at the Ministry of Economy and Trade, said this price rise is not a “fantastic amount”, but only a “few RON”. “The time has come to pay, after 200 years of unaccounted pollution,” Mediafax quoted Cotosman as saying.  Ion Lungu, president of the Association of Electricity Suppliers in Romania, is of the view that the new scheme will lead to a price increase of circa RON 8/MW/h in 2012. “We however suggest another approach to how the certificates are allotted in order to ease investor access. Nonetheless, this law would allow energy being supplied at market prices,” Ion Lungu said.

Under the Ordinance, authorized producers will receive the equivalent of 2 gigacalories/MW/h, which is the equivalent of the electricity consumed in the system in November. ANRE is releasing authorizations to producers to benefit from permanent or provisional authorizations. Producers using biomass as an energy source are given temporary authorizations, with the Ministry of Economy and of Agriculture respectively going to establish in the next six months some biomass classification criteria as requested by the European Commission.

Economy Ministry officials say Romania has the largest renewable energy support scheme, circa EUR 10 bln, aimed at 24 pc of the national consumption in 2020 to be supplied from green energy sources.

Some investors give up on EU energy funds

Energy producer associations say that, while the scheme is welcome, it could nonetheless make investor access to certificates more difficult. ‘The scheme combining the European funds and the green certificates could make some of the producers to renounce EU funds, as they don’t bring the benefits expected,” said Dana Duica, executive director Romanian Wind Energy Association, according to whom, potential changes to the support scheme being in place before 2014 would bear a negative influence on project completion. Among the companies willing to give up EU fundsthere are Romconstruct, which operates the ButanGas-developed wind farm, and Elektrainvest, Duica also said. The companies investing in renewable energy receive green certificates as a form of state assistance for the energy produced. An investor therefore gets money both from selling energy, and from green certificates, which they trade on the market, so that electricity suppliers must purchase them in annual quotas. A green certificate costs between EUR 27 and EUR 55. The profitability rate of renewable energy projects is of 10 pc.

The green certificate support scheme will be applied from 2021 onward. Consumers will feel the biggest impact in 2016-2017, when they will pay up to 30 pc more on energy.

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