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January 27, 2022

PM Ponta wants more flexible energy law, but not for state companies

The government also seeks variants for enforcing a system without subsidies in the energy sector, taking into consideration a support granted to local administrations in view of revamping public heating grids.

The government and local administrations are jointly devising several variants for the complete elimination of subsidies for thermal energy, in a gradual process that will also benefit from state support, considering that the cancellation of these subsidies for population was a too brutal measure, Premier Victor Ponta said in a press conference organised by CEZ Romania, quoted by Mediafax. He added that most towns are already confronted by issues almost impossible to solve this winter. Asked about how the government plans to support local administrations, the PM explained that an idea is to help local administrations restore public heating grids and assured that this help will not be provided on political criteria.The premier also mentioned that he agreed to modify the new Law of energy in view of eliminating the compulsory character of trading the energy on the stock exchange. “However, the next day I read that we want to support the smart guys,” Ponta added. The new law of energy will be thoroughly modified in the near future, although it was published less than three months ago by the ‘Official Gazette’. According to a draft Emergency Ordinance obtained by HotNews, the government wants to modify the energy law so that energy producers will no longer be required to sign contracts only via OPCOM (the energy exchange).Victor Ponta thanked those who continue to invest, for their unabated confidence in our country. “There are two sectors with extraordinary potential in Romania: agriculture and energy. Agriculture is very dependent on the divine grace, to say so. The energy sector, this year too, remained a very important zone for Romania’s development. We have an extraordinary chance in the energy sector. This year we insisted on making some important steps towards regulating the energy sector. The new laws adopted this summer… I want and believe that the talks I have with you will represent those ideas that support the idea of development in the future. We speak of liberalisation, partnership, direct competition. Of course, legal regulations were not perfect in the first place, and there are still things we must improve,” the premier mentioned.He also believes that the most important thing for an investor is to be sure that Romania guarantees direct competition, not just the law. “At present, Romania can have an economic growth much higher than European countries, based on energy investments. I ask you to become a partner of the government. With your participation, energy and agriculture will represent those drivers Romania needs,” the PM concluded.

Renewable energy companies might be exempted from selling energy via OPCOM

The producers of renewable energy might receive special licenses allowing them to trade the electricity through direct contracts until they finalise the investments in production units, and later to sign sale-purchase contracts via OPCOM, according to the Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). “We received many proposals of modifying the energy law. We also talked with OPCOM to see if they can also deal with other types of contracts. We talked about issuing a special license for renewable energy producers, which will allow them to directly trade the electricity until the completion of investments in production units. Subsequently, they will trade the energy on the competition-based market,” ANRE President Nicolae Havrilet announced yesterday, during the same conference organised by CEZ Romania.He added that even some European banks want the law to be changed, but authorities must make sure that such a provision would be legal. On the other hand, Havrilet said that OPCOM tries to develop a special platform for this type of contracts. “These months, the basics of the energy and gas market have changed in Romania,” Havrilet stated, Mediafax reports.Under the acting Law of energy, all transactions with energy must be conducted through specialised platforms. The specific platform for the trade of energy is the energy market OPCOM. Several companies and association of companies dealing in the renewable energy sector oppose this provision, claiming that the regulation hampers the investment process. During the conference, PM Victor Ponta said that he agrees to making the law more flexible, but not for state-run companies. The rule about all energy transactions being conducted via OPCOM might become more “flexible,” but only for the energy companies that cannot obtain financing from banks without a supply contract, but the interdiction will be maintained for state companies, he added.

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