Romania’s President Asks For Re-Examination Of Bill Deferring Green Certificates

Romanian President Traian Basescu asked the Parliament to re-examine the law approving the government emergency ordinance no.57/2013, which defers some green certificates for renewable producers, claiming the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, was not prenotified regarding the legal changes.

The government's decision to defer the issue of some green certificates for small hydro, wind and solar capacities came as a shock for the renewable sector. Players claimed this decision, which was enforced starting July 2013, would create serious gaps in the projected revenues of renewable projects.

Authorities delayed the issue of one green certificate for wind, two in solar and one in small hydro capacities, which should be recovered in the 2017-2020 period.

"The approval of the GEO no. 57/2013, until the fulfillment of obligation in the Treaty regarding the functioning of the EU is inopportune and exposes Romania to a set of prior complaints for violation of the constituent treaties of the EU," said the presidency in a statement.

The presidency added the European Commission submitted two letters on June 24 and October 3 to the government, saying that any changes in the renewable legal framework has to the prenotified to the EU, prior to approval.

Czech utility CEZ has complained to the EC this August, following the delay in paying green energy subsidies, along with other players, according to Reuters newswire. CEZ could lose up to EUR 66 million yearly because of the government's decision. The company has its largest onshore wind farm of 600MW in the Dobrogea region.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta claimed on numerous occasions that Romania can not afford a generous support scheme for renewable projects, claiming it would only increase the electricity bills of households and big industry.

At present, Romania has close to 3,000MW of incentivized renewable capacities in operation, according to grid operator Transelectrica. Most of the investments were made in wind and solar installations.

The renewable sector generated the largest influx of foreign investments in the past few years, driven by foreign companies of the likes of Austria's Verbund or Italy's Enel.