The second half of the year 2012 brought the enactment of two important laws in the energy sector, relevant especially for the renewable energy field. On the one hand, Law 134 as of July 18, 2012 entered into force on July 26, 2012 and approved the Government Emergency Ordinance No. 88/2011 which, in turn, modified and supplemented the Law 220/2008 setting up the support scheme promoting energy production from renewable sources (Law 134) and on the other hand, Law no. 123 as of July 10, 2012 for electric energy and natural gas (Law 123), came into force on July 19th, 2012.
SHORT OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE SUBSIDY SYSTEM FOR ENERGY PRODUCED FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES
Romania was one of the first candidates to the European Union that transposed the European Directive 2001/77/CE related to the subsidy system for energy produced from renewable energy sources by the Governmental Decision no. 443/2003, modified by the Governmental Decision no. 958/2005. However, the subsidy system has been developed with the enactment of Law 220, whereby as a result of major amendments brought to the a.m. law in 2010, Law 220 was republished. The latest amendments in this field have been brought by the enactment of the two above mentioned laws.
In order to promote the production of renewable energy, Romania adopted from the beginning a support scheme based on green certificates to be received by the eligible power producers from renewable sources for each produced MWh and injected into the grid. At present, the promoted renewable energy sources are, according to Law 220 as amended, the following: hydraulic power in plants with an installed capacity of maximum 10 MW; wind energy; solar energy; geothermal energy; biomass; bioliquids; biogases; sewage treatment plant gas and waste water treatment sludge gas, whereas the number of green certificates (varying from 1 to 6) to be received for each 1 up to 2 MWh was amended in the process of implementing the Law 220; this made the Romanian E-RES market more attractive for both local and foreign investors. But the increased number of green certificates could not be allotted for a long period of time due to the lack of secondary legislation. This favoured investments in the wind sector, a technology not as expensive as the photovoltaic. Wind was the first big wave of investments in the E-RES sector, as the official reports showed.
The support scheme applies for different time periods, depending on the type of the energy production technologies: 15 years for electricity produced in new generating plants; 10 years for the electricity produced in refurbished hydropower plants with an installed capacity of at most 10 MW; 7, respectively 5 years for electricity produced in wind plants that have been used for the production of electricity in other countries, provided that they are used in isolated electricity systems or were put into service in Romania before the application of the supports scheme; 3 years for electricity produced in non-refurbished hydropower plants, with an installed capacity of maximum 10 MW.
A report published on the website of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) about the renewable energy sources already installed as of the end of 2011 shows wind power as the winner of the last year’s installed capacity structure.