Recent changes to the renewable energy support scheme in Romania – is this so bad?

The support scheme for renewable energy in Romania, in force since 2011, was expected to be revised periodically to prevent overcompensation in new projects in this field

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Recent changes are contained in Government Emergency Ordinance 57/2013 (the “GEO”) and also in some other measures.  The GEO should be approved by a law, whether amended or not, but no decision is expected to be taken until after the summer.


What has not changed

It should first be understood what has not changed, given the volume of comments in the media about proposed changes to the support scheme in recent months.


Although the energy regulator ANRE reported in March 2013 that current allocation levels of green certificates per MWh did lead to overcompensation of some (but not all) of the supported methods of renewable energy generation, there has been no reduction of the number of green certificates per MWh allocated for new projects.


The GEO is to introduce a new procedure for the adjustment of such allocation levels.  The timetable for such procedures and discussions with a member of the supervisory board of ANRE suggest that no changes to allocation levels will be made before 31 December 2013 at the earliest, and possibly not until 31 March 2014.  It is also expected that any recommendations by ANRE for reductions in levels of support will normally specify a date on which such proposed adjustment will take effect (if approved by the Government).


It had also been proposed in the draft of the GEO to give large consumers of energy a partial exemption from the obligation to purchase green certificates in proportion to the amount of energy purchased, which would have reduced the demand for green certificates in the market.  The form of the GEO as published however makes any such actions conditional upon obtaining EU approval.  Given that the European Commission is already investigating whether similar provisions in Germany constitute unlawful state aid, it is perhaps doubtful whether EU would ever be open to give easily such consent.


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