Solar energy producers receive major blow

ANRE wants to reduce the number of green certificates following over-compensation of solar and hydro segments.

Green energy has enjoyed a genuine interest after the encouragement of the use of European funds. Following the wind energy boom, there was the solar boom. Meanwhile, energy authorities were warning last year already about an over-compensation for solar and hydro energy. The National Regulatory Authority in Energy (ANRE) will propose to the Government a cutback on the number of green certificates for the production of energy from solar resource, ANRE Regulatory Board member Zoltan Nagy-Bege told a press conference yesterday, according to ‘We are now working on a market monitoring report for 2012, which will be out in two-three weeks. We will propose to the Government to reduce the number of green certificates for solar energy from January 1, 2014,’ said Zoltan Nagy. He noted that, in 2012, ANRE had prepared a report identifying overcompensation on the solar and hydro segments, and proposed the Government to reduce the number of green certificates offered for the generation of solar energy from 6 to 5 per MW/h and from 3 to 2.3 for hydro energy.  ‘The Government could have reduced the number of certificates on January 1, 2013, but the legislation has changed in the meantime, which means that the number of certificates for solar energy may be changed on January 1, 2014 and the rest in 2015,’ the ANRE official explained.A record number of 1,053,229 green certificates were traded on the Centralised Green Certificate Market last year, 2.33 times higher than in 2011, when 451,941 units were traded, according to data published by energy market operator OPCOM. The average weighted price was RON 244.09 per green certificate (EUR 56.44, converted using the exchange rate used for setting green certificate trading value on the green certificate market in 2011 and 2012). The green certificate is a document certifying that 1 MWh of electricity was produced using renewable energy resources. The renewable sources eligible to participate in the green certificate trading system are hydro energy produced by stations with an installed output of no more than 10 MW, solar, wind, geothermal energy and associated combustible gas, biomass, biogas, waste fermentation gas and gas generated by the fermentation of used water cleaning sludge. The compulsory annual quota for 2012 was 8.3 per cent of all electricity supplied to end users. The national targets for the share of renewable energy in the total end use of electricity are 35 per cent by 2015 and 38 per cent by 2020. Now, the share is 20 per cent. The reduction of the number of green certificates is expected to lead to less investment in solar energy in particular. Producers have launched several projects this year, the biggest ones amounting to approximately EUR 200 M investment and combined output of over 100 MW. The regulatory framework in the field of renewable resources could be revised, but there is no such Government decision as yet, Economy Ministry Director General Alexandru Sandulescu said. The review of the regulatory framework will first seek to achieve a better balance of investors’ need to recover their investment on the one hand, and the end consumer’s effort for supporting renewable energy on the other hand. In the context, Alexandru Sandulescu offered as example the fact that, at the beginning of this year, the price of electricity charged to end users went up by 10 per cent on average, 4 per cent of that representing the additional sum collected to support renewable energy production. Rewriting the national energy strategy on a time scale to 2035 is a preoccupation of the Ministry of Economy, said Sandulescu. According to him, one of the Ministry’s priorities is to attract investment in the Romanian energy sector. In his opinion, there is a certain imbalance between the major interest of investors in renewable sources and a slightly lower interest in other sources of energy Romania still needs.

Support drops in the EU

\European states such as Germany or Bulgaria are already adopting measures to decrease the impact of green energy on consumer energy price, informs. Romania has one of the most generous alternative energy support schemes in the European Union. In Romania there are wind facilities of 1,600 MW, photovoltaic units of 71 MW, biomass plants of 44 MW and mini-hydropower stations with output of less than 10 MW, generating 453 MW combined. At the same time, wind stations of 700 MW, mini-hydropower stations of 2 MW and biomass units of 1 MW are currently being tested. On the other hand, wind plants of 1,515 MW, mini-hydropower stations of 108 MW, biomass facilities of 47 MW and photovoltaic units of 324 MW are in various construction phases, according to Bege.

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