European Commission approves the scheme on reducing green certificates for large energy consumers in Romania
The European Commission has found on Wednesday, 15 October 2014, that Romania’s green certificates reduction scheme, which consists of reducing the contribution of certain energy-intensive consumers to the financing of renewable energy, respects EU norms on state aid, a European Commission press release informs. According to the Commission’s conclusions, the partial compensation for the cost of financing renewable energy support is necessary to ensure the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries without unduly distorting competition in the single market.
“The Romanian scheme enables companies that are both electro-intensive and exposed to international trade to remain competitive without unduly distorting competition in the single market,” Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia stated.
In July 2014 Romania notified plans to reduce the contribution to the financing of renewable energy for certain companies active in sectors with particularly high electro-intensity and trade exposure. The beneficiaries will pay 85 per cent, 60 per cent or 40 per cent less renewable energy support if they demonstrate an electro-intensity of more than 20 per cent, between 10 and 20 per cent, or between 5 and 10 per cent, respectively.
The Commission assessed the compatibility of the measure under the provisions of its new Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines adopted in April 2014. The investigation found that reductions are limited to companies active in sectors recognized by the guidelines as being both energy-intensive and exposed to international trade.
The green certificate reduction scheme will enter into force on 1 December 2014 and will expire on 31 December 2024. The yearly budget is estimated at around EUR 75 M with approximately 300 beneficiaries.